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EPISTOLiE HO-ELIANjE 



SIR KENELM DIGBY 



FROM A PAINTING BY VAN DYCK IN THE 
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, LONDON 



Cptstolae Hoeitana 



THE FAMILIAR LETTERS 

OF 

3fame0 Howril 

With an Introduction by Agnes Repplier 
vol. II 




BOSTON AND NEW YORK 

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 

MDCCCCVII 



COPYRIGHT I9O7 BY HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



THIS EDITION CONSISTS OF TWO HUNDRED AND 
TWENTY COPIES OF WHICH THIS IS NUMBER %fi 



EPISTOLiE HO-ELIANiE 
SECTION III — Continued 



BOOK I 

SECTION III — CONTINUED 

XXV 

To Sir James Crofts 

THE Prince is now upon his journey to the 
seaside, where my Lord of Rutland attends 
for him with a royal fleet. There are many here 
shrink in their shoulders, and are very sensible 
of his departure, and the Lady Infanta resents 
it more than any. She hath caused a Mass to 
be sung every day ever since for his good voyage. 
The Spaniards themselves confess there was never 
princess so bravely wooed. The King and his two 
brothers accompanied His Highness to the Escu- 
rial some twenty miles off, and would have brought 
him to the seaside, but that the Queen is big and 
hath not many days to go. When the King and 
he parted, there passed wonderful great endear- 
ments and embraces in divers postures between 
them a long time ; and in that place there is a 
pillar to be erected as a monument to posterity. 
There are some grandees, and Count Gondomar, 
with a great train besides, gone with him to the 
marine, to the seaside, which will be many days* 
journey, and must needs put the King of Spain 



4 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

to a mighty expense, besides his seven months' 
entertainment here. We hear that when he passed 
through Valladolid, the Duke of Lerma was retired 
thence for the time by special command from the 
King, lest he might have discourse with the Prince, 
whom he extremely desired to see. This sunk 
deep into the old duke, insomuch that he said, 
that of all the acts of malice which Olivares had 
ever done him, he resented this more than any. 
He bears up yet very well under his cardinal's 
habit, which hath kept him from many a foul 
storm that might have fallen upon him else from 
the temporal power. The Duke of Uzeda, his 
son, finding himself decline in favour at court, had 
retired to the country, and died soon after of dis- 
contentment. During his sickness the cardinal 
wrote this short weighty letter unto him : " Dizen 
me, que mareys de necio; por mi, mas temo mis 
anos que mis enemigos. — Lerma." I shall not 
need to English it to you, who is so great a master 
of the language. Since I began this letter, we under- 
stand the Prince is safely embarked, but not with- 
out some danger of being cast away, had not Sir 
Sackville Trevor taken him up. I pray God send 
him a good voyage, and us no ill news from Eng- 
land. My most humble service at Tower Hill. 
So I am your humble servitor, 

J. H. 
Madrid, August 21, 1623. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 5 

XXVI 

To my Brother, Dr Howell 

My Brother, 

SINCE our Prince's departure hence, the Lady 
Infanta studieth English apace, and one Mr 
Wadsworth and Father Boniface, two Englishmen, 
are appointed her teachers, and have access to her 
every day. We account her, as it were, our Prin- 
cess now, and as we give, so she takes that title. 
Our ambassadors, my Lord of Bristol and Sir 
Walter Ashton, will not stand now covered before 
her when they have audience, because they hold 
her to be their Princess. She is preparing divers 
suits of rich clothes for His Highness of perfumed 
amber leather, some embroidered with pearl, some 
with gold, some with silver ! Her family is a-set- 
tling apace, and most of her ladies and officers are 
known already. We want nothing now but one 
dispatch more from Rome, and then the marriage 
will be solemnised, and all things consummated. 
Yet there is one Mr Clerk (with the lame arm) 
that came hither from the seaside, as soon as the 
Prince was gone; he is one of the Duke of Buck- 
ingham's creatures, yet he lies at the Earl of Bris- 
tol's house, which we wonder at, considering the 
darkness that happened betwixt the duke and the 
earl. We fear that this Clerk hath brought some- 
thing that may puzzle the business. Besides 



6 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

having occasion to make my address lately to the 
Venetian ambassador, who is interested in some 
part of that great business for which I am here, he 
told me confidently it would be no match, nor did 
he think it was ever intended. But I want faith 
to believe him yet, for I know St Mark is no 
friend to it, nor France, nor any other prince or 
state, besides the King of Denmark, whose grand- 
mother was of the house of Austria, being sister 
to Charles the Emperor. Touching the business 
of the Palatinate, our ambassadors were lately 
assured by Olivares and all the counsellors here, 
and that in this King's name, that he would pro- 
cure His Majesty of Great Britain entire satis- 
faction herein; and Olivares, giving them the joy, 
entreated them to assure their King upon their 
honour, and upon their lives, of the reality hereof. 
For the Infanta herself (saith he) hath stirred in 
it, and makes it now her own business; for it 
was a firm peace and amity (which he confessed 
could never be without the accommodation of 
things in Germany) as much as an alliance, 
which His Catholic Majesty aimed at. But we 
shall know shortly now what to trust to, we shall 
walk no more in mists, though some give out 
yet that our Prince shall embrace a cloud for Juno 
at last. 

I pray present my service to Sir John Franklin 
and Sir John Smith, with all at the Hill and Dale, 
and when you send to Wales, I pray convey the 
enclosed to my father. So, my dear brother, I pray 



OF JAMES HOWELL 7 

God bless us both, and bring us again joyfully 
together. — Your very loving brother, J. H. 
Madrid, August 12, 1623. 



XXVII 

To my noble friend, Sir John North, Knight 

I RECEIVED lately one of yours, but it was of 
a very old date. We have our eyes here now 
all fixed upon Rome, greedily expecting the ratifi- 
cation, and lately a strong rumour ran it was come. 
In so much that Mr Clerk, who was sent hither 
from the Prince, being a shipboard (and now lies 
sick at my Lord of Bristol's house of a calenture), 
hearing of it, he desired to speak with him, for he 
had something to deliver him from the Prince. My 
Lord Ambassador being come to him, Mr Clerk 
delivered a letter from the Prince, the contents 
whereof were : That whereas he had left certain 
proxies in his hand to be delivered to the King 
of Spain after the ratification was come, he desired 
and required him not to do it till he should receive 
further order from England. My Lord of Bristol 
hereupon went to Sir Walter Aston, who was in 
joint commission with him for concluding the 
match, and showing him the letter, what my Lord 
Aston said I know not, but my Lord of Bristol 
told him that they had a commission royal under 
the broad seal of England to conclude the match. 
He knew as well as he how earnest the King their 



8 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

master hath been any time this ten years to have it 
done. How there could not be a better pawn for the 
surrendry of the Palatinate than the Infanta in the 
Prince his arms, who could never rest till she did 
the work to merit love of our nation. He told 
him also how their own particular fortunes de- 
pended upon it ; besides, if he should delay one 
moment to deliver the proxy after the ratification 
was come, according to agreement, the Infanta 
would hold herself so blemished in her honour 
that it might overthrow all things. Lastly, he told 
him that they incurred the hazard of their heads 
if they should suspend the executing His Majes- 
ty's commission upon any order but from that 
power which gave it, who was the King himself. 
Hereupon both the ambassadors proceeded still 
in preparing matters for the solemnising of the 
marriage. The Earl of Bristol had caused above 
thirty rich liveries to be made of watchet velvet, 
with silver lace up to the very capes of the cloaks ; 
the best sorts whereof were valued at j[So a livery. 
My Lord Aston had also provided new liveries, 
and a fortnight after the said politic report was 
blown up the ratification came indeed complete 
and full. So the marriage day was appointed, a 
terrace covered all over with tapestry was raised 
from the King's palace to the next church, which 
might be about the same extent as from Whitehall 
to Westminster Abbey, and the King intended to 
make his sister a wife and his daughter (whereof 
the Queen was delivered a little before) a Christian 



OF JAMES HOWELL 9 

upon the same day. The grandees and great ladies 
had been invited to the marriage, and order was 
sent to all the port towns to discharge their great 
ordnance, and sundry other things were prepared 
to honour the solemnity; but when we were thus 
at the height of our hopes, a day or two before, 
there came Mr Killegree, Gresly, Wood and 
Davies, one upon the neck of another with a new 
commission to my Lord of Bristol immediately 
from His Majesty, countermanding him to deliver 
the proxy aforesaid, until a full and absolute satis- 
faction were had for the surrender of the Palatinate 
under this King's hand and seal. In regard he 
desired his son should be married to Spain, and 
his son-in-law remarried to the Palatinate at one 
time. Hereupon all was dashed in pieces, and that 
frame which was rearing so many years was ruined 
in a moment. This news struck a damp in the 
hearts of all people here, and they wished that 
the postillions that brought it had all broke their 
necks on the way. 

My Lord of Bristol hereupon went to court to 
acquaint the King with his new commission, and so 
proposed the restitution of the Palatinate. The 
King answered it was none of his to give. It is 
true he had a few towns there, but he held them as 
commissioner only for the Emperor, and he could 
not command an Emperor ; yet if His Majesty of 
Great Britain would put a treaty a foot, he would 
send his own ambassadors to join. In the interim 
the earl was commanded not to deliver the afore- 



io FAMILIAR LETTERS 

said proxy of the Prince for the disponsories or 
espousal until Christmas (and herein it seems His 
Majesty with you was not well informed, for those 
powers of proxies expired before). The king here 
said further that if his uncle the Emperor, or the 
Duke of Bavaria, would not be conformable to 
reason he would raise as great an army for the 
Prince Palsgrave as he did under Spinola when he 
first invaded the Palatinate ; and to secure this he 
would engage his contratation house of the West 
Indies, with his Plate fleet, and give the most bind- 
ing instrument that could be under his hand and 
seal. But this gave no satisfaction, therefore my 
Lord of Bristol, I believe, hath not long to stay 
here, for he is commanded to deliver no more let- 
ters to the Infanta nor demand any more audience, 
and that she should be no more styled Princess 
of England or Wales. The foresaid caution which 
this King offered to my Lord of Bristol made me 
think of what I read of his grandfather Philip the 
Second, who having been married to our Queen 
Mary, and it being thought she was with child 
of him, and was accordingly prayed for at Paul's 
Cross, though it proved afterwards but a tympany, 
King Philip proposed to our Parliament that they 
would pass an act that he might be regent during 
his or her minority that should be born, and he 
would give good caution to surrender the crown, 
when he or she should come to age ; the motion 
was hotly canvassed in the House of Peers, and like 
to pass, when the Lord Paget rose up and said, 



OF JAMES HOWELL n 

" Aye, but who shall sue the King's bond," so the 
business was dashed. I have no more news to send 
you now, and I am sorry I have so much, unless 
it were better; for we that have business to nego- 
tiate here are like to suffer much by this rupture. 
Welcome be the will of God, to whose benedic- 
tion I commend you, and rest, your most humble 
servitor, J. H. 

Madrid, August 25, 1623. 



XXVIII 

To the Right Honourable the Lord Clifford 

My good Lord, 

HOUGH this court cannot afford now such 
comfortable news in relation to England as 



T 



I could wish, yet such as it is you shall receive. 
My Lord of Bristol is preparing for England. I 
waited upon him lately when he went to take his 
leave at court, and the King washing his hands took 
a ring from off his finger and put it upon his, 
which was the greatest honour that ever he did any 
ambassador, as they say here; he gave him also 
a cupboard of plate, valued at 20,000 crowns. 
There were also large and high promises made him, 
that in case he feared to fall upon any rock in Eng- 
land, by reason of the power of those who ma- 
ligned him, if he would stay in any of his domin- 
ions, he would give him means and honour equal 



i2 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

to the highest of his enemies. The earl did not 
only waive but disdained these propositions made 
unto him by Olivares, and said he was so confident 
of the King, his master's justice and high judg- 
ment, and of his own innocency, that he conceived 
no power could be able to do him hurt. There hath 
occurred nothing lately in this court worth the 
advertisement. They speak much of the strange 
carriage of that boisterous Bishop of Halverstadt 
(for so they term him here), that having taken 
a place where there were two monasteries of nuns 
and friars, he caused divers feather-beds to be 
ripped and all the feathers to be thrown in a great 
hall, whither the nuns and friars were thrust naked 
with their bodies oiled and pitched, and to tumble 
among these feathers, which makes them here 
presage him an ill death. So I most affectionately 
kiss your hands, and rest, your very humble 
servitor, J. H. 

Madrid, August 26, 1623. 



XXIX 

To Sir John North 

1H AVE many thanks to render you for the favour 
you lately did to a kinsman of mine, Mr 
Vaughan, and for divers other which I defer till 
I return to that court, and that I hope will not be 
long. Touching the procedure of matters here, 
you shall understand, that my Lord Aston had 



OF JAMES HOWELL 13 

special audience lately of the King of Spain, and 
afterwards presented a memorial wherein there was 
a high complaint against the miscarriage of the 
two Spanish ambassadors now in England, the 
Marquis of Inojosa and Don Carlos Coloma. The 
substance of it was, that the said ambassadors in a 
private audience His Majesty of Great Britain had 
given them, informed him of a pernicious plot 
against his person and royal authority, which was, 
that at the beginning of your now parliament, the 
Duke of Buckingham, with other his accomplices, 
often met and consulted in a clandestine way how 
to break the treaty both of match and Palatinate. 
And in case His Majesty was unwilling thereunto, 
he should have a country house or two to retire 
unto for his recreation and health, in regard the 
Prince is now of years and judgment fit to govern. 
His Majesty so resented this, that the next day he 
sent them many thanks for the care they had of 
him, and desired them to perfect the work, and 
now that they had detected the treason, to discover 
also the traitors ; but they were shy in that point. 
The King sent again, desiring them to send him 
the names of the conspirators in a paper, sealed up 
by one of their own confidants, which he would 
receive with his own hands, and no soul should see 
it else ; advising them withal, that they should not 
prefer this discovery before their own honours, to 
be accounted false accusers. They replied that they 
had done enough already by instancing in the 
Duke of Buckingham, and it might easily be guessed 



i 4 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

who were his confidants and creatures. Hereupon 
His Majesty put those whom he had any grounds 
to suspect to their oaths ; and afterward sent my 
Lord Conway and Sir Francis Cottington to tell the 
ambassadors that he had left no means unassayed 
to discover the conspiration, that he had found 
upon oath such a clearness of ingenuity in the 
Duke of Buckingham that satisfied him of his in- 
nocency. Therefore he had just cause to conceive 
that this information of theirs proceeded rather 
from malice and some political ends than from 
truth, and in regard they would not produce the 
authors of so dangerous a treason, they made 
themselves to be justly thought the authors of it. 
And therefore though he might by his own royal 
justice and the law of nations punish this excess 
and insolence of theirs, and high wrongs they had 
done to his best servants, yea, to the Prince his son, 
for through the sides of the duke they wounded 
him, in regard it was impossible that such a de- 
sign should be attempted without his privity ; yet 
he would not be his own judge herein, but would 
refer them to the King their master, whom he con- 
ceived to be so just, that he doubted not but he 
would see him satisfied, and therefore he would 
send an express unto him hereabouts to demand 
justice and reparation. This business is now in 
agitation, but we know not what will become of it. 
We are all here in a sad disconsolate condition, 
and the merchants shake their heads up and down 
out of an apprehension of some fearful war to 



OF JAMES HOWELL 15 

follow. — So I most affectionately kiss your hands, 
and rest your very humble and ready servitor, 

J. H. 

Madrid, August 26, 1623. 

XXX 

To Sir Kenelme Digby, Knight 

YOU have had knowledge (none better) of the 
progression and growings of the Spanish 
match from time to time. I must acquaint you now 
with the rupture and utter dissolution of it, which 
was not long a-doing, for it was done in one audi- 
ence that my Lord of Bristol had lately at court, 
whence it may be inferred that it is far more easy 
to pull down than rear up, for that structure which 
was so many years a-rearing was dashed as it were 
in a trice. Dissolution goeth a faster pace than 
composition. And it may be said that the civil 
actions of men, specially great affairs of monarchs 
(as this was) have much analogy in degrees of pro- 
gression with the natural production of man. To 
make man there are many acts must proceed : first 
a meeting and copulation of the sexes, then con- 
ception, which requires a well disposed womb to 
retain the prolifical seed, by the constriction and 
occlusion of the orifice of the matrix, which seed 
being first, and afterwards cream, is by a gentle 
ebullition coagulated, and turned to a cruded lump, 
which the womb by virtue of its natural heat pre- 



1 6 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

pares to be capable to receive form and to be organ- 
ised, whereupon Nature falls a-working to delineate 
all the members, beginning with those that are 
most noble, as the heart, the brain, the liver, where- 
of Galen would have the liver,, which is the shop 
and source of the blood, and Aristotle the heart, 
to be the first framed, in regard it is primum vivens 
et ultimum moriens. Nature continues in this labour 
until a perfect shape be introduced, and this is 
called formation, which is the third act, and is a 
production of an organical body out of the sperm- 
atic substance, caused by the plastic virtue of the 
vital spirits. And sometimes this act is finished 
thirty days after the conception, sometimes fifty, 
but most commonly in forty-two or forty-five, 
and is sooner done in the male. This being done, 
the embryon is animated with three souls : the first 
with that of plants, called the vegetable soul, then 
with a sensitive, which all brute animals have, and 
lastly, the rational soul is infused, and these three 
in man are like trigonus in tetragono. The two first 
are generated ex traduce^ from the seed of the par- 
ents, but the last is by immediate infusion from 
God, and it is controverted betwixt philosophers 
and divines when this infusion is made. 

This is the fourth act that goeth to make a man, 
and is called animation ; and as the naturalists allow 
animation double the time that formation had from 
the conception, so they allow to the ripening of 
the embryo in the womb, and to the birth thereof, 
treble the time that animation had, which happen- 



OF JAMES HOWELL 17 

eth sometimes in nine, sometimes in ten months. 
This grand business of the Spanish match may be 
said to have had such degrees of progression. 
First there was a meeting and coupling on both 
sides, for a Junta in Spain and some select coun- 
sellors of state were appointed in England. After 
this conjunction the business was conceived, then 
it received form, then life (though the quickening 
was slow); but having had near upon ten years 
in lieu of ten months to be perfected, it was unfor- 
tunately strangled when it was ripe ready for birth ; 
and I would they had never been born that did 
it, for it is like to be out of my way ^3000. And 
as the embryo in the womb is wrapped in three 
membranes or tunicles, so this great business, you 
know better than I, was involved in many diffi- 
culties, and died so entangled before it could 
break through them. 

There is a buzz here of a match betwixt Eng- 
land and France; I pray God send it a speedier 
formation and animation than this had, and that 
it may not prove an abortive. 

I send you herewith a letter from the paragon 
of the Spanish court, Donna Anna Maria Man- 
rique, the Duke of Marqueda's sister, who respects 
you in a high degree. She told me this was the 
first letter she ever wrote to man in her life, except 
the duke her brother. She was much solicited 
to write to Mr Thomas Cary, but she would not. 
I did also your message to the Marquesa Inojosa, 
who put me to sit a good while with her upon 



1 8 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

her estrado, which was no simple favour. You are 
much in both these ladies' books, and much 
spoken of by divers others in this court. I could 
not recover your diamond hatband which the pica- 
roon snatched from you in the coach, though I 
used all means possible, as far as book, bell and 
candle in point of excommunication against the 
party in all the churches of Madrid, by which 
means you know divers things are recovered. — So 
I most affectionately kiss your hands, and rest 
your most faithful servitor, J. H. 

P. S. — Yours of the 2nd of March came to 
safe hand. 

Madrid. 

XXXI 

To my Cousin, Mr J. Price (now Knight), at 
the Middle Temple ; from Madrid 



c 



OLTSIN, suffer my letter to salute you first 
in this distitch: 

A Thamesi Tagus quot leucis flumine distat, 
Oscula tot manibus porto, pricaee, tuis. 

As many miles Thames lies from Tagus strands, 
I bring so many kisses to thy hands. 



My dear Jack, 

IN the large register or almanac of my friends in 
England, you are one of the chiefest red letters, 
you are one of my festival rubrics, for whensoever 



OF JAMES HOWELL 19 

you fall upon my mind, or my mind falls upon 
you, I keep holy-day all the while, and this hap- 
pens so often, that you leave me but few working 
days throughout the whole year, fewer far than this 
country affords, for in their calendar above five 
months of the twelve are dedicated to some saint 
or other, and kept festival ; a religion that the 
London apprentices would like well. 

I thank you for yours of the third current, and 
the ample relations you give me of London occur- 
rences, but principally for the powerful and sweet 
assurances you give me of your love, both in verse 
and prose. All businesses here are off the hinges ; 
for one late audience of my Lord of Bristol pulled 
down what was so many years a-raising. And as 
Thomas Aquinas told an artist of a costly curi- 
ous statue in Rome, that by some accident, while 
he was a-trimming it, fell down and so broke 
to pieces, " Opus triginta annorum destruxiti " 
(Thou hast destroyed the work of thirty years). 
So it may be said that a work near upon ten years 
is now suddenly shattered to pieces. I hope by 
God's grace to be now speedily in England, and 
to re-enjoy your most dear society. In the mean- 
time may all happiness attend you. 

Ad literam. 
Ocius ut grandire gradus oratio possis, 
Prosa, tibi binos jungimus ecce pedes. 

That in thy journey thou mayest be more fleet, 
To my dull prose I adde these metric feet. 



20 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Resp. 

Ad mare cum venio, quid agam ? 

Repl. 

Turn praepete penna 

Te ferat, est lator nam levis ignis, Amor. 

But when I come to sea how shall I shift ? 
Let love transport thee then, for fire is swift. 

— Your most affectionate cousin, 

J. H. 
March 30, 1624. 

XXXII 

To the Lord Viscount Colchester ; from Madrid 

Right Honourable, 

YOUR lordship's of the third current came to 
safe hand, and being now upon the point of 
parting with this court, I thought it worth the 
labour to send your lordship a short survey of 
the monarchy of Spain ; a bold undertaking your 
lordship will say, to comprehend within the narrow 
bounds of a letter such a huge bulk; but as in 
the boss of a small diamond ring one may discern 
the image of a mighty mountain, so I will en- 
deavour that your lordship may behold the power 
of this great King in this paper. 

Spain hath been always esteemed a country of 
ancient renown, and as it is incident to all others, 
she hath had her vicissitudes and turns of fortune. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 21 

She hath been thrice overcome: by the Romans, 
by the Goths, and by the Moors. The middle 
conquest continueth to this day, for this King and 
most of the nobility profess themselves to have 
descended of the Goths. The Moors kept here 
about seven hundred years, and it is a remarkable 
story how they got in first, which was thus upon 
good record. There reigned in Spain Don Rod- 
rigo, who kept his court then at Malaga. He 
employed the Conde Don Julian, ambassador to 
Barbary, who had a daughter (a young beautiful 
lady) that was maid of honour to the Queen. The 
King spying her one day refreshing herself under 
an arbour, fell enamoured with her, and never left 
till he had deflowered her. She resenting much 
the dishonour wrote a letter to her father in Bar- 
bary under this allegory: That there was a fair 
green apple upon the table, and the King's poi- 
gnard fell upon it and cleft it in two. Don Julian 
apprehending the meaning, got letters of revoca- 
tion, and came back to Spain, where he so com- 
plied with the King, that he became his favourite. 
Amongst other things he advised the King, that 
in regard he was now in peace with all the world, 
he would dismiss his galleys and garrisons that 
were up and down the sea coasts, because it was 
a superfluous charge. This being done, and the 
country left open to any invader, he prevailed 
with the King to have leave to go with his lady 
to see their friends in Tarragona, which was 300 
miles off. Having been there a while, his lady 



12. FAMILIAR LETTERS 

made semblance to be sick, and so sent to petition 
the King, that her daughter, Donna Cava (whom 
they had left at court to satiate the King's lust), 
might come to comfort her a while. Cava came, 
and the gate through which she went forth is 
called after her name to this day in Malaga. Don 
Julian having all his chief kindred there, he sailed 
over to Barbary, and afterwards brought over the 
King of Morocco and others with an army, who 
suddenly invaded Spain, lying armless and open, 
and so conquered it. Don Rodrigo died gallantly 
in the field, but what became of Don Julian, who 
for a particular revenge betrayed his own country, 
no story makes mention. A few years before this 
happened Rodrigo came to Toledo, where under 
the great church there was a vault with huge iron 
doors, and none of his predecessors durst open it, 
because there was an old prophecy, that when 
that vault was opened Spain should be conquered. 
Rodrigo, slighting the prophecy, caused the doors 
to be broke open, hoping to find there some treas- 
ure ; but when he entered there was nothing found 
but the pictures of Moors, of such men that a little 
after fulfilled the prophecy. 

Yet this last conquest of Spain was not perfect, 
for divers parts north-west kept still under Chris- 
tian kings, especially Biscay, which was never con- 
quered, as Wales in Britanny ; and the Biscayners 
have much analogy with the Welsh in divers 
things: they retain to this day the original lan- 
guage of Spain, they are the most mountainous 



OF JAMES HOWELL 23 

people, and they are reputed the ancientest gen- 
try ; so that when any is to take the order of 
knighthood, there are no inquisitors appointed to 
find whether he be clear of the blood of the Moors 
as in other places. The King, when he comes 
upon the confines, pulls off one shoe before he 
can tread upon any Biscay ground : and he hath 
good reason to esteem that province, in regard of 
divers advantages he hath by it ; for he hath his 
best timber to build ships, his best marines, and 
all his iron thence. 

There were divers bloody battles 'twixt the 
remnant of Christians and the Moors for seven 
hundred years together, and the Spaniards getting 
ground more and more, drove them at last to 
Granada, and thence also in the time of Ferdinand 
and Isabella, quite over to Barbary. Their last 
king was Chico, who when he fled from Granada 
crying and weeping, the people upbraided him, 
" That he might well weep like a woman, who 
could not defend himself and them like a man " 
(this was that Ferdinand who obtained from Rome 
the title of Catholic, though some stories say that 
many ages before Ricaredus, the first orthodox 
king of the Goths, was styled Catholicus in a Pro- 
vincial Synod held at Toledo, which was continued 
by Alphonsus the First, and then made hereditary 
by this Ferdinand). This absolute conquest of 
the Moors happened about Henry the Seventh's 
time, when the foresaid Ferdinand and Isabella 
had by alliance joined Castile and Aragon, which 



24 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

with the discovery of the West Indies, which 
happened a little after, was the first foundation of 
that greatness whereunto Spain is now mounted. 
Afterwards there was an alliance with Burgundy 
and Austria. By the first House the seventeen 
provinces fell to Spain ; by the second Charles 
the Fifth came to be Emperor : and remarkable it 
is how the House of Austria came to that height 
from a mean earl, the Earl of Hapsburg in Ger- 
many, who having been one day a-hunting, he 
overtook a priest who had been with the Sacra- 
ment to visit a poor, sick body; the priest being 
tired, the earl alighted off his horse, helped up 
the priest, and so waited upon him afoot all the 
while, till he brought him to the church: the 
priest, giving him his benediction at his going 
away, told him, that for this great act of humility 
and piety, his race should be one of the greatest 
that ever the world had ; and ever since, which is 
some 240 years ago, the Empire hath continued 
in that House, which afterwards was called the 
House of Austria. 

In Philip the Second's time the Spanish mon- 
archy came to its highest pitch, by the conquest 
of Portugal, whereby the East Indies, sundry 
islands in the Atlantic Sea, and divers places in 
Barbary were added to the Crown of Spain. By 
these steps this crown came to this grandeur ; 
and truly, give the Spaniard his due, he is a mighty 
monarch ; he hath dominions in all parts of the 
world (which none of the four monarchies had), 



OF JAMES HOWELL 25 

both in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America (which 
he hath solely to himself), though our Henry 
the Seventh had the first proffer made him : so 
the sun shines all the four and twenty hours of 
the natural day upon some part or other of his 
countries, for part of the Antipodes are subject to 
him. He hath eight viceroys in Europe, two in 
the East Indies, two in the West, two in Africa, 
and about thirty provincial sovereign commanders 
more ; yet as I was told lately, in a discourse 
'twi'xt him and our Prince at his being here, when 
the Prince fell to magnifying his spacious domin- 
ions, the King answered, " Sir, 't is true it hath 
pleased God to trust me with divers nations and 
countries, but of all these there are but two which 
yield me any clear revenues, viz., Spain and my 
West Indies, nor all Spain neither, but Castile 
only, the rest do scarce quit cost, for all is drunk 
up 'twixt governors and garrisons ; yet my ad- 
vantage is to have the opportunity to propagate 
Christian religion, and to employ my subjects. ,, 
For the last, it must be granted that no prince 
hath better means to breed brave men, and more 
variety of commands to heighten their spirits, 
with no petty but princely employments. 

This King besides hath other means to oblige 
the gentry unto him by such a huge number of 
commendams which he hath in his gift to bestow 
on whom he please of any of the three Orders 
of Knighthood, which England and France want. 
Some noblemen in Spain can despend ,£50,000, 



26 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

some ^40,000, some ^£3 0,000, and divers £io r 
000 pound per annum. The Church here is ex- 
ceeding rich both in revenues, plate, and buildings ; 
one cannot go to the meanest country chapel but 
he will find chalices, lamps and candlesticks of 
silver. There are some bishopricks of ;£3°> 000 
per annum, and divers of £10,000, and To- 
ledo is ^£ 100,000 yearly revenue. As the Church 
is rich, so it is mightily reverenced here, .and very 
powerful, which made Philip the Second rather 
depend upon the clergy than the secular power. 
Therefore I do not see how Spain can be called 
a poor country considering the revenues afore- 
said of princes and prelates ; nor is it so thin of 
people as the world makes it ; and one reason may 
be that there are sixteen universities in Spain, and 
in one of these there were 15,000 students at one 
time when I was there, I mean Salamanca ; and 
in this village of Madrid (for the King of Spain 
cannot keep his constant court in any city) there 
are ordinarily 600,000 souls. 'Tis true that the 
colonising of the Indies and the wars of Flanders 
have much drained this country of people. Since 
the expulsion of the Moors it is also grown thin- 
ner, and not so full of corn ; for those Moors 
would grub up wheat out of the very tops of the 
craggy hills ; yet they used another grain for their 
bread, so that the Spaniard had nought else to do 
but go with his ass to the market and buy corn of 
the Moors. 

For the soil of Spain, the fruitfulness of their 



OF JAMES HOWELL 27 

valleys recompenses the sterility of their hills. 
Corn is their greatest want, and want of rain is the 
cause of that, which makes them have need of their 
neighbours ; yet as much as Spain bears is passing 
good, and so is everything else for the quality ; 
nor hath any one a better horse under him, a better 
cloak on his back, a better sword by his side, better 
shoes on his feet than the Spaniard, nor doth any 
drink better wine or eat better fruit than he, nor 
flesh for the quantity. 

Touching the people, the Spaniard looks as 
high, though not so big as a German, his excess is 
in too much gravity, which some who know him 
not well hold to be pride ; he cares not how little 
he labours, for poor Gascons and Morisco slaves 
do most of his work in field and vineyard ; he can 
endure much in the war, yet he loves not to fight 
in the dark, but in open day or upon a stage, that 
all the world might be witness of his valour, so 
that you shall seldom hear of Spaniards employed 
in night service, nor shall one hear of a duel here 
in an age. He hath one good quality, that he 
is wonderfully obedient to government : for the 
proudest don of Spain,when he is prancing upon his 
ginet in the street, if an Alguazil (a sergeant) show 
him his vare, that is a little white staff he carrieth 
as a badge of his office, my don will down presently 
off his horse and yield himself his prisoner. He 
hath another commendable quality, that when he 
giveth alms he pulls off his hat and puts it in the 
beggar's hand with a great deal of humility. His 



28 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

gravity is much lessened since the late proclamation 
came out against ruffs, and the King himself showed 
the first example. They were come to that height 
of excess herein that twenty shillings were used to 
be paid for starching of a ruff; and some, though 
perhaps he had never a shirt to his back, yet would 
he have a toting huge swelling ruff about his neck. 
He is sparing in his ordinary diet, but when he 
makes a feast he is free and bountiful. As to 
temporal authority, specially martial, so is he very 
obedient to the Church, and believes all with an 
implicit faith. He is a great servant of ladies, nor 
can he be blamed, for as I said before, he comes 
of a Goatish race, yet he never brags of nor blazes 
abroad his doings that way, but is exceedingly 
careful of the repute of any woman (a civility that 
we much want in England). He will speak high 
words of Don Phillippo his king, but will not 
endure a stranger should do so. I have heard 
a Biscayner make a rodomontado that he was as 
good a gentleman as Don Phillippo himself, for 
Don Phillippo was half a Spaniard, half a Ger- 
man, half an Italian, half a Frenchman, half I 
know not what, but he was a pure Biscayner with- 
out mixture. The Spaniard is not so smooth and 
oily in his compliments as the Italian, and though 
he will make strong protestations yet he will not 
swear out compliments like the French and Eng- 
lish ; as I heard when my Lord of Carlisle was 
ambassador in France, there came a great monsieur 
to see him, and having a long time bandied and 



OF JAMES HOWELL 29 

sworn compliments one to another who should go 
first out at a door, at last my Lord of Carlisle 
said: "O monseigneur, ayez pitie de mon ame" 
(O my lord, have pity upon my soul). 

The Spaniard is generally given to gaming, and 
that in excess; he will say his prayers before, and 
if he win, he will thank God for his good fortune 
after. Their common game at cards (for they very 
seldom play at dice) is primera, at which the King 
never shows his game but throws his cards with 
their faces down on the table. He is merchant 
of all the cards and dice throughout the kingdom ; 
he hath them made for a penny a pair, and he retails 
them for twelve pence, so that it is thought he 
hath ^£3 0,000 a year by this trick at cards. The 
Spaniard is very devout in his way, for I have 
seen him kneel in the very dirt when the Ave 
Maria bell rings ; and some if they spy two straws 
or. sticks lie crosswise in the street they will take 
them up and kiss them, and lay them down again. 
He walks as if he marched, and seldom looks 
on the ground, as if he contemned it. I was told 
of a Spaniard who having got a fall by a stumble 
and broke his nose, rose up, and in a disdainful 
manner said, "Voto a tal esto es caminar por la 
tierra " (This is to walk upon earth). The Labra- 
dors and country swains here are sturdy and 
rational men, nothing so simple or servile as the 
French peasant, who is born in chains. It is true 
the Spaniard is not so conversable as other nations 
(unless he hath travelled), else he is like Mars 



3 o FAMILIAR LETTERS 

among the planets, impatient of conjunction. Nor 
is he so free in his gifts and rewards : as the last 
summer it happened that Count Gondomar with 
Sir Francis Cottington went to see a curious 
house of the Constable of Castile's, which had 
been newly built here. The keeper of the house 
was very officious to show him every room, with 
the garden, grottos and aqueducts, and presented 
him with some fruit. Gondomar having been a 
long time in the house, coming out, put many 
compliments of thanks upon the man, and so was 
going away. Sir Francis whispered him in the ear 
and asked him whether he would give the man 
anything that took such pains. " Oh," quoth 
Gondomar, "well remembered, Don Francisco; 
have you ever a double pistole about you ? If 
you have, you may give it him, and then you pay 
him after the English manner. I have paid him 
already after the Spanish." The Spaniard is much 
improved in policy since he took footing in Italy, 
and there is no nation agrees with him better. 
I will conclude this character with a saying that he 
hath — 

No ay hombre debaxo d'el sol, 
Como el Italiano y el Espaiiol. 

Whereunto a Frenchman answered — 
Dizes la verdad, y tienes razon, 
El uno es puto, el otro ladron. 

Englished thus — 

Beneath the sun there *s no such man, 
As is the Spaniard and Italian. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 31 

The Frenchman answers — 

Thou telFst the truth, and reason hast, 
The first 's a thief, a buggerer the last. 

Touching their women, nature hath made a more 
visible distinction betwixt the two sexes here than 
elsewhere ; for the men, for the most part, are 
swarthy and rough, but the women are of a far 
finer mould. They are commonly little. And 
whereas there is a saying that makes a complete 
woman, let her be English to the neck, French to 
the waist, and Dutch below ; I may add for hands 
and feet let her be Spanish, for they have the 
least of any. They have another saying : a French- 
woman in a dance, a Dutchwoman in the kitchen, 
an Italian in a window, an Englishwoman at board, 
and the Spanish a-bed. When they are married 
they have a privilege to wear high shoes, and to 
paint, which is generally practised here, and the 
Queen useth it herself. They are coy enough, but 
not so froward as our English, for if a lady go 
along the street (and all women going here veiled 
and their habit so generally alike, one can hardly 
distinguish a countess from a cobbler's wife), if 
one should cast out an odd ill-sounding word, 
and ask her a favour, she will not take it ill, but 
put it off and answer you with some witty retort. 
After thirty they are commonly past child-bearing, 
and I have seen women in England look as youth- 
ful at fifty as some here at twenty-five. Money 
will do miracles here in purchasing the favour 
of ladies, or anything else ; though this be the 



32 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

country of money, for it furnisheth well near all 
the world besides, yea, their very enemies, as the 
Turk and Hollander; insomuch that one may 
say the coin of Spain is as Catholic as her king. 
Yet though he be the greatest king of gold and 
silver mines in the world (I think), yet the com- 
mon current coin here is copper, and herein I be- 
lieve the Hollander hath done him more mischief 
by counterfeiting his copper coins than by their 
arms, bringing it in by strange surreptitious ways, 
as in hollow sows of tin and lead, hollow masts, 
in pitch buckets under water and other ways. 
But I fear to be injurious to this great king, to 
speak of him in so a narrow a compass: a great 
king indeed, though the French in a slighting way 
compare his monarchy to a beggar's cloak made 
up of patches. They are patches indeed, but such 
as he hath not the like. The East Indies is a 
patch embroidered with pearl, rubies, and dia- 
monds. Peru is a patch embroidered with massive 
gold; Mexico with silver; Naples and Milan are 
patches of cloth of tissue; and if these patches 
were in one piece, what would become of his cloak 
embroidered with flower de luces ? 

So desiring your lordship to pardon this poor 
imperfect paper, considering the high quality of 
the subject, I rest, your lordship's most humble 
servitor, J. H. 

Madrid, i February 1623. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 33 

XXXIII 

To Mr Walsingham Gresly ; from Madrid 

Don Balthasar, 

1 THANK you for your letter in my lord's last 
packet, wherein among other passages you 
write unto me the circumstances of Marquis Spi- 
nola's raising his leaguer by flatting and firing his 
works before Berghen. He is much taxed here to 
have atempted it, and to have buried so much of 
the king's treasure before that town in such costly 
trenches. A gentleman came hither lately, who 
was at the siege all the while, and he told me one 
strange passage, how Sir Ferdinand Cary, a huge 
corpulent knight, was shot through his body, the 
bullet entering at the navel, and coming out at 
his back killed his man behind him, yet he lives 
still, and is like to recover. With this miraculous 
accident he told me also a merry one, how a cap- 
tain that had a wooden leg booted over, had it 
shattered to pieces by a cannon bullet, his soldiers 
crying out " A surgeon, a surgeon, for the cap- 
tain." " No, no," said he, " a carpenter, a carpen- 
ter will serve the turn." To this pleasant tale I '11 
add another that happened lately in Alcala hard by 
of a Dominican friar, who in a solemn procession 
which was held there upon Ascension Day last, 
had his stones dangling under his habit cut off 
instead of his pocket by a cut-purse. 



34 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Before you return hither, which I understand 
will be speedily, I pray bestow a visit on our 
friends in Bishopsgate Street. So I am your faith- 
ful servitor, J. H. 

3 February 1623. 

XXXIV 

To Sir Robert Napier, Knight, at his house 
in Bishopsgate Street; from Madrid 

THE late breach of the match hath broke the 
neck of all businesses here, and mine suffers 
as much as any. I had access lately to Olivares, 
once or twice ; I had audience also of the King, 
to whom I presented a memorial that intimated 
letters of mart, unless satisfaction were had from 
his viceroy the Conde del Real. The King gave 
me a gracious answer, but Olivares a churlish 
one, viz., that when the Spaniards had justice in 
England we should have justice here. So that 
notwithstanding I have brought it to the highest 
point and pitch of perfection in law that could be, 
and procured some dispatches, the like whereof 
were never granted in this court before, yet I am 
in despair now to do any good. I hope to be 
shortly in England, by God's grace, to give you 
and the rest of the proprietaries a punctual account 
of all things. And you may easily conceive how 
sorry I am that matters succeeded not according to 
your expectation and my endeavours ; but I hope 



OF JAMES HOWELL 35 

you are none of those that measure things by the 
event. The Earl of Bristol, Count Gondomar, 
and my Lord Ambassador Aston did not only 
do courtesies, but they did co-operate with me in 
it, and contributed their utmost endeavours. — So 
I rest, yours to serve you, J. H. 

Madrid, February 18, 1623. 

XXXV 

To Mr A. S>, in Alicante 

MUCH endeared sir, fire, you know, is the 
common emblem of love. But without any 
disparagement to so noble a passion, methinks it 
might be also compared to tinder, and letters are 
the properest matter whereof to make this tinder. 
Letters again are fittest to kindle and re-accend 
this tinder. They may serve both for flint, steel 
and match. This letter of mine comes therefore 
of set purpose to strike some sparkles into yours, 
that it may glow and burn and receive ignition, 
and not lie dead, as it hath done a great while. I 
make my pen to serve for an instrument to stir 
the cinders wherewith your old love to me hath 
been covered a long time, therefore I pray let no 
couvre-feu bell have power hereafter to rake up 
and choke with the ashes of oblivion that clear 
flame wherewith our affections did use to sparkle 
so long by correspondence of letters and other 
offices of love. 



36 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

I think I shall sojourn yet in this court these 
three months, for I will not give over this great 
business while there is the least breath of hope 
remaining. 

I know you have choice matters of intelligence 
sometimes from thence, therefore I pray impart 
some unto us, and you shall not fail to know how 
matters pass here weekly. So with my besamanos 
to Francisco Imperial, I rest yours most affection- 
ately to serve you, J. H. 

Madrid, 3 March 1623. 

XXXVI 

To the Honourable Sir T. S. 9 at Tower Hill 

1WAS yesterday at the Escurial to see the 
Monastery of Saint Laurence, the eighth won- 
der of the world ; and truly considering the site 
of the place, the state of the thing, and the sym- 
metry of the structure, with divers other rarities, 
it may be called so; for what I have seen in Italy, 
and other places, are but baubles to it. It is built 
amongst a company of craggy barren hills, which 
makes the air the hungrier and wholesomer ; it is all 
built of freestone and marble, and that with such 
solidity and moderate height that surely Philip 
the Second's chief design was to make a sacrifice 
of it to eternity, and to contest with the meteors and 
time itself. It cost eight millions ; it was twenty- 
four years a-building, and the founder himself saw 



OF JAMES HOWELL 37 

it furnished, and enjoyed it twelve years after, and 
carried his bones himself thither to be buried. 

The reason that moved King Philip to waste 
so much treasure was a vow he had made at the 
battle of Saint Quentin, where he was forced to 
batter a monastery of Saint Laurence friars, and 
if he had the victory, he would erect such a mon- 
astery to Saint Laurence that the world had not 
the like ; therefore the form of it is like a grid- 
iron, the handle is a huge royal palace, and the 
body a vast monastery or assembly of quadran- 
gular cloisters, for there are as many as there be 
months in the year. There be a hundred monks, 
and every one hath his man and his mule, and 
a multitude of officers ; besides, there are three 
libraries there, full of the choicest books for all 
sciences. It is beyond expression what grots, 
gardens, walks, and aqueducts there are there, and 
what curious fountains in the upper cloisters, for 
there be two stages of cloisters. In fine, there is 
nothing that 's vulgar there. To take a view of 
every room in the house one must make account 
to go ten miles ; there is a vault called the Pan- 
theon under the highest altar, which is all paved, 
walled, and arched with marble ; there be a num- 
ber of huge silver candlesticks, taller than I am ; 
lamps three yards compass, and divers chalices 
and crosses of massive gold ; there is one choir 
made all of burnished brass ; pictures and statues 
like giants ; and a world of glorious things that 
purely ravished me. By this mighty monument, 



38 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

it may be inferred that Philip the Second, though 
he was a little man, yet had he vast gigantic 
thoughts in him, to leave such a huge pile for 
posterity to gaze upon and admire his memory. 
No more now, but that I rest, your most humble 
servitor, J. H. 

Madrid, March 9, 1623. 



XXXVII 

To the Lord Viscount Colchester; from Madrid 

My Lord, 

YOU wrote to me not long since to send you 
an account of the Duke of Ossuna's death, 
a little man, but of great fame and fortunes, and 
much cried up, and known up and down the 
world. He was revoked from being Viceroy of 
Naples (the best employment the King of Spain 
hath for a subject) upon some disgust ; and being 
come to this court where he was brought to give 
an account of his government, being troubled with 
the gout, he carried his sword in his hand instead 
of a staff. The King misliking the manner of his 
posture, turned his back to him, and so went 
away. Thereupon he was overheard to mutter, 
" Esto es par a servir muchachos " (This it is 
to serve boys). This coming to the King's ear, 
he was apprehended and committed prisoner to 
a monastery not far off, where he continued some 



OF JAMES HOWELL 39 

years until his beard came to his girdle, then grow- 
ing very ill, he was permitted to come to his house 
in this town, being carried in a bed upon men's 
shoulders, and so died some years ago. There 
were divers accusations against him, amongst the 
rest, I remember these. That he had kept the 
Marquis de CampolataroY wife, sending her hus- 
band out of the way upon employment. That 
he had got a bastard of a Turkish woman, and 
suffered the child to be brought up in the Mo- 
hammedan religion. That being one day at high 
mass, when the host was elevated he drew out 
of his pocket a piece of gold, and held it up, 
intimating that that was his god. That he had in- 
vited some of the prime courtesans of Naples to 
a feast, and after dinner made a banquet for them 
in his garden, where he commanded them to strip 
themselves stark naked and go up and down, 
while he shot sugar plums at them out of a trunk, 
which they were to take up from off their high 
chapins, and such like extravagances. One 
(amongst divers others) witty passage was told 
me of him, which was, that when he was Viceroy 
of Sicily, there died a great rich duke, who left 
but one son, whom with his whole estate he be- 
queathed to the tutule of the Jesuits, and the 
words of the will were, " When he is past his 
minority " (darete al mio figliuolo quelque voi vo- 
lete) " you shall give my son what you will." It 
seems the Jesuits took to themselves two parts 
of three of the estate, and gave the rest to the 



4 o FAMILIAR LETTERS 

heir. The young duke complaining hereof to the 
Duke of Ossuna (then viceroy), he commanded 
the Jesuits to appear before him. He asked them 
how much of the estate they would have, they an- 
swered two parts of three, which they had almost 
employed already to build monasteries and an 
hospital, to erect particular altars and masses, to 
sing dirges and refrigeriums for the soul of the 
deceased duke. Hereupon the Duke of Ossuna 
caused the will to be produced, and found therein 
the words afore-recited, " When he is passed his 
minority, you shall give my son of my estate 
what you will." Then he told the Jesuits, you 
must by virtue and tenor of these words, give 
what you will to the son, which by your own con- 
fession is two parts of three, and so he determined 
the business. 

Thus have I in part satisfied your lordship's 
desire, which I shall do more amply when I shall 
be made happy to attend you in person, which I 
hope will be ere it be long. In the interim, I take 
my leave of you from Spain, and rest your lord- 
ship's most ready and humble servitor, 

J.H. 

Madrid, 13 March 1623. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 41 

XXXVIII 

To Simon Digby, Esq. 

I THANK you for the several sorts of cyphers 
you sent me to write by, which were very 
choice ones and curious. Cryptology, or Episto- 
lising in a Clandestine Way, is very ancient. I 
read in A. Gellius that C. Caesar in his letters to 
Caius Oppius and Balbus Cornelius, who were 
two of his greatest confidants in managing his 
private affairs, did write in cyphers by a various 
transportation of the alphabet ; whereof Proclus 
Grammaticus, De occulta literarum significatione 
Epistolarum C. Caesaris, writes a curious com- 
mentary. But methinks that certain kind of hiero- 
glyphics, the caelestial signs, the seven planets, 
and other constellations might make a curious 
kind of cypher, as I will more particularly demon- 
strate unto you in a scheme, when I shall be 
happy with your conversation. — So I rest, your 
assured servitor, J. H. 

Madrid, March 15, 1623. 

XXXIX 

To Sir James Crofts; from Bilboa 



B 



EING safely come to the Marine, in convoy 
of His Majesty's jewels, and being to sojourn 



42 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

here some days, the conveniency of this gentleman 
(who knows, and much honoureth you), he being 
to ride post through France, invited me to send you 
this. 

We were but five horsemen in all our seven days' 
journey from Madrid hither, and the charge Mr 
Wiches had is valued at four hundred thousand 
crowns ; but it is such safe travelling in Spain, that 
one may carry gold in the palm of his hand, the 
government is so good. When we had gained 
Biscay ground, we passed one day through a forest, 
and lighting off our mules to take a little repast 
under a tree, we took down our alforjas and some 
bottles of wine (and you know it is ordinary here 
to ride with one's victuals about him), but as we 
were eating we spied two huge wolves, who stared 
upon us a while, but had the good manners to go 
away. It put me in mind of a pleasant tale I heard 
Sir Thomas Fairfax relate of a soldier in Ireland, 
who having got his passport to go for England, as 
he passed through a wood with his knapsack upon 
his back, being weary, he sat down under a tree, 
where he opened his knapsack, and fell to some 
victuals he had; but upon a sudden he was sur- 
prised with two or three wolves, who, coming 
towards him, he threw them scraps of bread and 
cheese, till all was done, then the wolves making a 
nearer approach unto him, he knew not what shift 
to make, but by taking a pair of bagpipes which 
he had, and as soon as he began to play upon them 
the wolves ran all away as if they had been scared 



OF JAMES HOWELL 43 

out of their wits ; whereupon the soldier said, " A 
pox take you all, if I had known you had loved 
music so well, you should have had it before din- 
ner." 

If there be a lodging void at the Three Hal- 
bards Heads, I pray be pleased to cause it to be 
reserved for me. So I rest, your humble servitor, 

J. H. 

Bilboa, September 6, 1624. 



EPISTOLiE HO-ELIANi£ 
SECTION IV 



SECTION IV 



To my Father; from London 

I AM newly returned from Spain. I came over 
in convoy of the Prince his jewels, for which 
one of the ships royal with the Catch were sent 
under the command of Captain Love. We landed 
at Plymouth, whence I came by post to Theo- 
bald's in less than two nights and a day, to 
bring His Majesty news of their safe arrival. The 
Prince had newly got a fall off a horse, and kept 
his chamber. The jewels were valued at above a 
hundred thousand pounds. Some of them a little 
before the Prince his departure had been presented 
to the Infanta, but she waiving to receive them, 
yet with a civil compliment they were left in the 
hands of one of the secretaries of state for her use 
upon the wedding day, and it was no unworthy 
thing in the Spaniard to deliver them back, not- 
withstanding that the treaties both of match and 
Palatinate had been dissolved a pretty while before 
by act of Parliament, that a war was threatened, 
and ambassadors revoked. There were jewels also 
amongst them to be presented to the King and 



48 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Queen of Spain, to most of the ladies of honour, 
and the grandees. There Was a great table dia- 
mond for Olivares of 18 carats' weight ; but the 
richest of all was to the Infanta herself, which was 
a chain of great orient pearls, to the number of 276, 
weighing nine ounces. The Spaniards, notwith- 
standing they are the masters of the staple of jewels, 
stood astonished at the beauty of these, and con- 
fessed themselves to be put down. 

Touching the employment upon which I went 
to Spain, I had my charges borne all the while, 
and that was all. Had it taken effect, I had made 
a good business of it ; but it is no wonder (nor 
can it be, I hope, any disrepute unto me) that I 
could not bring to pass what three ambassadors 
could not do before me. 

I am now casting about for another fortune, and 
some hopes I have of employment about the Duke 
of Buckingham. He sways more than ever, for 
whereas he was before a favourite to the King, he 
is now a favourite to Parliament, people and city, 
for breaking the match with Spain. Touching his 
own interest, he had reason to do it, for the Span- 
iards love him not ; but whether the public inter- 
est of the state will suffer in it or no, I dare not 
determine. For my part, I hold the Spanish match 
to be better than their powder, and their wares 
better than their wars ; and I shall be ever of that 
mind, that no country is able to do England less 
hurt and more good than Spain, considering the 
large traffic and treasure that is to be got thereby. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 49 

I shall continue to give you account of my 
courses when opportunity serves, and to dispose 
of matters so that I may attend you this summer 
in the country. So desiring still your blessing 
and prayers, I rest your dutiful son, J. H. 

London, December 10, 1624. 

II 

T0 R. Brown , Esq. 

THERE is no seed so fruitful as that of love. 
I do not mean that gross carnal love which 
propagates the world, but that which preserves it, 
to wit, seeds of friendship, which hath little com- 
merce with the body, but is a thing divine and 
spiritual. There cannot be a more pregnant proof 
hereof than those seeds of love which I have long 
since cast into your breast, which have thriven so 
well, and in that exuberance, that they have been 
more fruitful unto me than that field in Sicily 
called le trecente cariche (the field of three hundred 
loads), so called because it returns the sower three 
hundred for one yearly, so plentiful hath your 
love been unto me. But amongst other sweet fruits 
it hath born, those precious letters which you have 
sent me from time to time, both at home and 
abroad, are not of the least value. I did always 
hug and highly esteem them, and you in them, for 
they yielded me both profit and pleasure. 

That seed which you have also sown in me hath 



5° 



FAMILIAR LETTERS 



fructified something, but it hath not been able to 
make you such rich returns, nor afford so plentiful 
a crop ; yet I daresay, this crop, how thin soever, 
was pure and free from tares, from cockle or darn- 
ell, from flattery or falsehood, and what it shall 
produce hereafter shall be so ; nor shall any injury 
of the heavens, as tempests, or thunder and light- 
ning (I mean no cross or affliction whatsoever) be 
able to blast and smut it, or hinder it to grow up 
and fructify still. 

This is the third time God Almighty hath been 
pleased to bring me back to the sweet bosom of 
my dear country from beyond the seas. I have 
been already comforted with the sight of many of 
my choice friends, but I miss you extremely, there- 
fore I pray make haste, for London streets which 
you and I have trod together so often will prove 
tedious to me else. Amongst other things, Black- 
friars will entertain you with a play, " spick and 
span new," and the Cockpit with another. Nor I 
believe after so long absence, will it be an un pleas- 
ing object for you to see, yours, J. H. 

London, January 20, 1624. 

Ill 

To the Lord Viscount Colchester 



M 



Right Honourable, 
Y last to your lordship was in Italian, with 
the Venetian Gazetta enclosed. Count 



OF JAMES HOWELL 51 

Mansfelt is upon point of parting, having obtained 
it seems the sum of his desires. He was lodged 
all the while in the same quarter of St James, which 
was appointed for the Infanta. He supped yes- 
ternight with the council of war, and he hath a 
grant of 12,000 men, English and Scots, whom he 
will have ready in the body of an army against the 
next spring ; and they say that England, France, 
Venice, and Savoy do contribute for the mainten- 
ance thereof 60,000 pounds a month. There can 
be no conjecture, much less any judgment made 
yet of his design ; most think it will be for re- 
lieving Breda, which is straitly begirt by Spinola, 
who gives out that he hath her already as a bird 
in a cage, and will have her maugre all the oppo- 
sition of Christendom. Yet there is fresh news 
come over that Prince Maurice hath got on the 
back of him, and hath beleaguered him, as he 
hath done the town, which I want faith to believe 
yet, in regard of the huge circuit of Spinola's works, 
for his circumvallations are cried up to be near 
upon twenty miles. But while the Spaniard is 
spending millions here for getting small towns, the 
Hollander gets kingdoms off him elsewhere. He 
hath invaded and taken lately from the Portugal 
part of Brazil, a rich country for sugars, cottons, 
balsams, dyeing-wood, and divers commodities 
besides. 

The treaty of marriage betwixt our Prince and 
the youngest daughter of France goes on apace, 
and my Lords of Carlisle and Holland are in Paris 



S 2 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

about it. We shall see now what difference there 
is betwixt the French and Spanish pace. The two 
Spanish ambassadors have been gone hence long 
since : they say that they are both in prison, one 
in Burgos in Spain, the other in Flanders, for the 
scandalous information they made here against 
the Duke of Buckingham, about which, the day 
before their departure hence, they desired to have 
one private audience more, but His Majesty 
denied them. I believe they will not continue long 
in disgrace, for matters grow daily worse and worse 
betwixt us and Spain ; for divers letters of marque 
are granted our merchants, and letters of marque 
are commonly the forerunners of a war. Yet they 
say Gondomar will be on his way hither again 
about the Palatinate, for the King of Denmark 
appears now in his niece's quarrel, and arms apace. 
No more now, but that I kiss your lordship's 
hands, and rest your most humble and ready 
servitor, J. H. 

London, 5 February 1624. 



IV 

To my Cousin, Mr Roland Guin 

Cousin, 
WAS lately sorry, and I was lately glad, that 



1 



I heard you were ill, that I heard you are well. 
— Your affectionate cousin, J. H. 



OF JAMES HOWELL S 3 



To Thomas Jones, Esq. 

Tom, 

IF you are in health/tis well ; we are here all so, 
and we should be better had we your company. 
Therefore, I pray, leave the smutty air of London 
and come hither to breathe sweeter, where you 
may pluck a rose and drink a cillibub. — Your 
faithful friend, 

J.H. 
Kentis, June i, 1625. 

VI 
To D. C. 

THE bearer hereof hath no other errand but 
to know how you do in the country, and 
this paper is his credential letter. Therefore, I 
pray, hasten his dispatch, and if you please send 
him back like the man in the moon, with a basket 
of your fruit on his back. — Your true friend, 

J.H. 
London, this August 10, 1625. 



54 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

VII 

To my father ; from London 

I RECEIVED yours of the third of February 
by the hands of my cousin,Thomas Guin of 
Trecastle. 

It was my fortune to be on Sunday was fort- 
night at Theobalds, where his late majesty King 
James departed this life and went to his last rest 
upon the day of rest, presently after sermon was 
done. A little before the break of day he sent 
for the Prince, who rose out of his bed and came 
in his nightgown ; the King seemed to have some 
earnest thing to say unto him, and so endeavoured 
to raise himself upon his pillow, but his spirits 
were so spent that he had not strength to make 
his words audible. He died of a fever which 
began with an ague, and some Scotch doctors mut- 
ter at a plaster the Countess of Buckingham ap- 
plied to the outside of his stomach. It is thought 
the last breach of the match with Spain, which for 
many years he had so vehemently desired, took 
too deep an impression on him, and that he was 
forced to rush into a war now in his declining age, 
having lived in a continual uninterrupted peace 
his whole life, except some collateral aids he had 
sent his son-in-law. As soon as he expired the 
Privy Council sat, and in less than a quarter of 
an hour, King Charles was proclaimed at Theo- 



OF JAMES HOWELL $S 

balds Court Gate by Sir Edward Zouch, Knight 
Marshal, Master Secretary Conway dictating unto 
him : " That whereas it hath pleased God to take 
to His mercy our most gracious sovereign King 
James of famous memory, we proclaim Prince 
Charles his rightful and indubitable heir to be 
King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, 
etc." The Knight Marshal mistook, saying, " His 
rightful and dubitable heir," but he was rectified 
by the secretary. This being done, I took my horse 
instantly and came to London first, except one who 
was come a little before me, insomuch, that I found 
the gates shut. His now Majesty took coach and 
the Duke of Buckingham with him, and came to 
Saint James. In the evening he was proclaimed at 
Whitehall Gate, in Cheapside, and other places in 
a sad shower of rain ; and the weather was suitable 
to the condition wherein he finds the kingdom 
which is cloudy ; for he is left engaged in a war 
with a potent prince, the people by long desuetude 
unapt for arms, the fleet royal in quarter repair, 
himself without a queen, his sister without a coun- 
try, the crown pitifully laden with debts, and the 
purse of the state lightly ballasted, though it never 
had better opportunity to be rich than it had 
these last twenty years. But God Almighty I hope 
will make him emerge and pull this island out 
of all these plunges, and preserve us from worser 
times. 

The plague is begun in Whitechapel, and as they 
say, in the same house, at the same day of the 



56 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

month, with the same number that died twenty- 
two years since when Queen Elizabeth departed. 

There are great preparations for the funeral, and 
there is a design to buy all the cloth for mourning 
white and then to put it to the dyers in gross, 
which is like to save the crown a good deal of 
money ; the drapers murmur extremely at the Lord 
Cranfield for it. 

I am not settled yet in any stable condition, but 
I lie windbound at the Cape of Good Hope, 
expecting some gentle gale to launch out into an 
employment. 

So with my love to all my brothers and sisters 
at the Bryn, and near Brecknock, I humbly crave 
a continuance of your prayers and blessing to 
your dutiful son, J. H. 

London, December it, 1625. 

VIII 
To Dr Prichard 

SINCE I was beholden to you for your many 
favours in Oxford, I have not heard from 
you (ne gry quiderri). I pray let the wonted corre- 
spondence be now revived and receive new vigour 
between us. 

My Lord Chancellor Bacon is lately dead of 
a long languishing weakness ; he died so poor, 
that he scarce left money to bury him, which, 
though he had a great wit, did argue no great wis- 



OF JAMES HOWELL 57 

dom, it being one of the essential properties of a 
wise man to provide for the main chance. I have 
read that it hath been the fortunes of all poets 
commonly to die beggars ; but for an orator, a 
lawyer, and philosopher, as he was, to die so, 't is 
rare. It seems the same fate befell him that at- 
tended Demosthenes, Seneca, and Cicero (all great 
men), of whom the two first fell by corruption. 
The fairest diamond may have a flaw in it, but I 
believe he died poor out of contempt of the pelf 
of fortune, as also out of an excess of generosity ; 
which appeared as in divers other passages, so 
once when the King had sent him a stag, he sent 
up for the underkeeper, and having drunk the 
King's health unto him in a great silver-gilt bowl, 
he gave it him for his fee. 

He wrote a pitiful letter to King James not 
long before his death, and concludes, Help me, 
dear sovereign lord and master, and pity me so 
far, that I who have been born to a bag be not 
now in my age forced in effect to bear a wallet ; 
nor I that desire to live to study may be driven 
to study to live. Which words, in my opinion, 
argueth a little abjection of spirit, as his former 
letter to the Prince did of profaneness, wherein he 
hoped that as the Father was his creator the Son 
will be his redeemer. I write not this to derogate 
from the noble worth of the Lord Viscount Ver- 
ulam, who was a rare man, a man reconditae scien- 
tiae> et ad salutem literarum natus, and I think the 
eloquentest that was born in this isle. They say 



5 8 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

he shall be the last Lord Chancellor, as Sir Ed- 
ward Coke was the last Lord Chief-Justice of Eng- 
land ; for ever since they have been termed Lord 
Chief-Justices of the King's Bench, so hereafter 
they shall be only Keepers of the Great Seal, 
which for title and office are deposable, but they 
say the Lord Chancellor's title is indelible. 

I was lately at Gray's Inn with Sir Eubule, and 
he desired me to remember him unto you, as I do 
also salute Meum Prichardum ex imis praecordiis, 
Vale K€<j)a\T] pot Trpoo-^iXeoraTT?. — Yours most 
affectionately, while J. H. 

London, January 6, 1625. 



IX 

To my well-beloved Cousin, Mr T. V. 

Cousin, 

YOU have a great work in hand, for you write 
unto me that you are upon a treaty of mar- 
riage. A great work indeed, and a work of such 
consequence that it may make you or mar you. 
It may make the whole remainder of your life 
uncouth or comfortable to you ; for of all civil 
actions that are incident to man, there is not any 
that tends more to his infelicity or happiness. 
Therefore it concerns you not to be over-hasty 
herein, not to take the ball before the bound. 
You must be cautious how you thrust your neck 



OF JAMES HOWELL 59 

into such a yoke, whence you will never have 
power to withdraw it again, for the tongue useth 
to tie so hard a knot that the teeth can never 
untie, no not Alexander's sword can cut asunder 
among us Christians. If you are resolved to 
marry, choose where you love, and resolve to 
love your choice (let love rather than lucre be 
your guide in this election), though a concurrence 
of both be good, yet, for my part, I had rather 
the latter should be wanting than the first. The 
one is the pilot, the other but the ballast, of the 
ship which should carry us to the harbour of 
a happy life. If you are bent to wed I wish you 
anothergess wife than Socrates had. And as I 
wish you may not light upon such a Zantippe (as 
the wisest men have had ill-luck in this kind, as 
I could instance in two of our most eminent law- 
yers, C, B.), so I pray that God may deliver 
you from a wife of such a generation that Strowd 
our cook here at Westminster said his wife was 
of, who, when (out of a mislike of the preacher) 
he had on a Sunday in the afternoon gone out of 
the church to a tavern, and returning towards the 
evening pretty well heated with canary to look to 
his roast, and his wife falling to read him a loud 
lesson in so furious a manner as if she would 
have basted him instead of the mutton, and 
amongst other revilings, telling him often, that 
the devil, the devil, would fetch him, at last he 
broke out of a long silence, and told her, I pri- 
thee, good wife, hold thyself content, for I know 



60 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

the devil will do me no hurt, for I have married 
his kinswoman. If you light upon such a wife 
(a wife that hath more bone than flesh) I wish 
you may have the same measure of patience that 
Socrates and Strowd had, to suffer the gray mare 
sometimes to be the better horse. I remember 
a French proverb — 

La maison est miserable et mechante 
Ou la poule plus haut que le coq chante. 

That house doth every day more wretched grow 
Where the hen louder than the cock doth crow. 

Yet we have another English proverb almost 
counter to this, That it is better to marry a shrew 
than a sheep; for though silence be the dumb 
orator of beauty, and the best ornament of a 
woman, yet a phlegmatic dull wife is fulsome and 
fastidious. 

Excuse me, cousin, that I jest with you in so 
serious a business. I know you need no counsel 
of mine herein. You are discreet enough of your- 
self, nor, I presume, do you want advice of parents, 
which by all means must go along with you. So 
wishing you all conjugal joy, and a happy confar- 
reation, I rest, your affectionate cousin, 

J.H. 

London, February 5, 1625. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 61 

X 

To my noble Lord, the Lord Clifford; from 
London 

My Lord, 

THE Duke of Buckingham is lately returned 
from Holland, having renewed the peace 
with the States and articled with them for a con- 
tinuation of some naval forces for an expedition 
against Spain, as also having taken up some mon- 
ies upon private jewels (not any of the Crown's), 
and lastly, having comforted the Lady Elizabeth 
for the decease of his late Majesty her father and 
of Prince Frederick, her eldest son, whose disas- 
trous manner of death, amongst the rest of her sad 
afflictions, is not the least. For passing over Haar- 
lem Mere, a huge inland lough, in company of his 
father, who had been in Amsterdam to look how his 
bank of money did thrive, and coming (for more 
frugality) in the common boat, which was overset 
with merchandise, and other passengers, in a thick 
fog the vessel turned over and so many per- 
ished. The Prince Palsgrave saved himself by 
swimming, but the young prince clinging to the 
mast, and being entangled amongst the tacklings, 
was half drowned and half frozen to death — a sad 
destiny. 

There is an open rupture betwixt us and the 
Spaniard, though he gives out that he never broke 
with us to this day. Count Gondomar was on his 



62 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

way to Flanders, and thence to England (as they 
say) with a large commission to treat for a sur- 
render of the Palatinate, and so to piece matters 
together again, but he died on the journey, at a 
place called Bunnol, of pure apprehensions of 
grief, it is given out. 

The match betwixt His Majesty and the Lady 
Henrietta Maria, youngest daughter to Henry the 
Great (the eldest being married to the King of 
Spain, and the second to the Duke of Savoy) goes 
roundly on, and is in a manner concluded ; where- 
at the Count of Soissons is much discontented, 
who gave himself hopes to have her, but the hand 
of heaven hath predestined her for a far higher 
condition. 

The French ambassadors who were sent hither 
to conclude the business, having private audience 
of his late Majesty a little before his death, he told 
them pleasantly that he would make war against 
the Lady Henrietta because she would not receive 
the two letters which were sent her, one from him- 
self and the other from his son, but sent them to 
her mother ; yet he thought he should easily make 
peace with her, because he understood she had 
afterwards put the latter letter in her bosom, and 
the first in her coshionet, whereby he gathered 
that she intended to reserve his son for her affec- 
tion and him for counsel. 

The Bishop of Lucon, now Cardinal de Riche- 
lieu, is grown to be the sole favourite of the King 
of France, being brought in by the queen mother. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 63 

He hath been very active in advancing the match, 
but it is thought the wars will break out afresh 
against them of the religion, notwithstanding the 
ill fortune the King had before Montauban a few 
years since, where he lost above 500 of his nobles, 
whereof the great Duke of Main was one, and 
having lain in person before the town many 
months, and received some affronts, as that in- 
scription upon their gates shows, " Roy sans foy, 
ville sans peur " (a king without faith, a town with- 
out fear), yet he was forced to rase his works and 
raise his siege. 

The letter which Mr Ellis Hicks brought them 
of Montauban from Rochelle, through so much 
danger and with so much gallantry, was an in- 
finite advantage unto them ; for whereas there 
was a politic report raised in the King's army 
and blown into Montauban that Rochelle was 
yielded to the Count of Soissons who lay then 
before her, this letter did inform the contrary, 
and that Rochelle was in as good a plight as 
ever. Whereupon they made a sally the next day 
upon the King's forces and did him a great deal 
of spoil. 

There be summons out for a Parliament. Ipray 
God it may prove more prosperous than the for- 
mer. 

I have been lately recommended to the Duke 
of Buckingham by some noble friends of mine 
that have intimacy with him, about whom, though 
he hath three secretaries already, I hope to have 



64 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

some employment, for I am weary of walking up 
and down so idly upon London streets.' 

The plague begins to rage mightily ; God avert 
His judgments that menace so great a mortality, 
and turn not away His face from this poor island. 
So I kiss your lordship's hand, in quality of your 
lordship's most humble servitor, 

J. H. 

London, 25 February 1625. 

XI 

To Rich. Altham, Esquire 

THE echo wants but a face and the looking- 
glass a voice to make them both living crea- 
tures, and to become the same bodies they repre- 
sent, the one by repercussion of sound, the other 
by reflection of sight. Your most ingenious letters 
to me from time to time do far more lively re- 
present you than either echo or crystal can do. 
I mean they represent the better and nobler part 
of you, to wit, the inward man. They clearly set 
forth the notions of your mind and the motions 
of your soul, with the strength of your imagina- 
tion ; for as I know your exterior person by your 
lineaments, so I know you as well inwardly by 
your lines and by those lively expressions you give 
of yourself, insomuch that I believe if the interior 
man within you were so visible as the outward 
(as once Plato wished that virtue might be seen 



OF JAMES HOWELL 6 S 

with the corporal eyes) you would draw all the 
world after you ; or if your well-born thoughts 
and the words of your letters were echoed in any 
place where they might rebound and be made aud- 
ible, they are composed of such sweet and charm- 
ing strains of ingenuity and eloquence that all the 
nymphs of the woods and the valleys, the dryads, 
yea, the graces and muses, would pitch their 
pavilions there, nay, Apollo himself would dwell 
longer in that place with his rays and make them 
reverberate more strongly than either upon Pindus 
or Parnassus or Rhodes itself, whence he never 
removes his eye as long as he is above this hemi- 
sphere. I confess my letters to you, which I send 
by way of correspondence, come far short of such 
virtue, yet are they the true ideas of my mind and 
that real and inbred affection I bear you. One 
should never teach his letters or his lackey to lie. 
I observe that rule, but besides my letters I could 
wish there were a crystal casement in my breast, 
through which you might behold the motions of 
my heart : Utinamque oculos in pectore posses in- 
cessere, then should you clearly see, without any 
deception of sight, how truly I am, and how en- 
tirely, yours, J. H. 

27 of February 1625. 

Arid to answer you in the same strain of verse 
you sent me. 

First, shall the heaven's bright lamp forget to shine, 
The stars shall from the azured sky decline ; 



66 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

First, shall the Orient with the west shake hand, 

The centre of the world shall cease to stand ; 

First, wolves shall league with lambs, the dolphins fly, 

The lawyer and physician fees deny, . 

The Thames with Tagus shall exchange her bed, 

My mistress' locks with mine, shall first turn red ; 

First, heaven shall lie below, and hell above, 

Ere I inconstant to my Altham prove. 



XII 

To the Right Honourable my Lord of Carling- 
ford, after Earl of Carberry, at Golden Grove, 
28th May 1625 

My Lord, 

WE have gallant news now abroad, for we are 
sure to have a new queen ere it be long. 
Both the contract and marriage was lately sol- 
emnised in France, the one the second of this 
month in the Louvre, the other the eleventh day 
following in the great Church of Paris, by the 
Cardinal of Rochefoucauld. There was some clash- 
ing betwixt him and the Archbishop of Paris, who 
alleged it was his duty to officiate in that church, 
but the dignity of cardinal and the quality of his 
office, being the King's Great Almoner, which 
makes him chief curate of the court, gave him the 
prerogative. I doubt not but your lordship hath 
heard of the capitulations, but for better assurance 
I will run them over briefly, 



OF JAMES HOWELL 67 

The King of France obliged himself to procure 
the dispensation. The marriage should be cele- 
brated in the same form as that of Queen Marga- 
ret and of the Duchess of Bar. Her dowry should 
be 40,000 crowns, six shillings apiece, the one 
moiety to be paid the day of the contract, the other 
twelve months after. The Queen shall have a 
chapel in all the King's royal houses and any- 
where else where she shall reside within the 
dominions of His Majesty of Great Britain, with 
free exercise of the Roman religion, for herself, 
her officers and all her household, for the celebra- 
tion of the Mass, the predication of the word, ad- 
ministration of the sacraments, and power to procure 
indulgences from the Holy Father. That to this 
end she shall be allowed twenty-eight priests or 
ecclesiastics in her house and a bishop in quality 
of Almoner, who shall have jurisdiction over all 
the rest, and that none of the King's officers shall 
have power over them, unless in case of treason. 
Therefore all her ecclesiastics shall take the oath 
of fidelity to His Majesty of Great Britain. There 
shall be a cemetery or churchyard close about to 
bury those of her family, that in consideration of 
this marriage all English Catholics, as well eccle- 
siastics as lay, which shall be in any prison merely 
for religion, since the last edict shall be set at 
liberty. 

This is the eighth alliance we have had with 
France since the Conquest, and as it is the best 
that could be made in Christendom, so I hope it 



68 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

will prove the happiest. — So I kiss your hands, 
being your lordship's most humble servitor, 

J. H. 
London, March i, 1625. 

XIII 

To the Honourable Sir Tho. Sa. 

I CONVERSED lately with a gentleman that 
came from France, who- amongst other things, 
discoursed much of the favourite Richelieu, who is 
like to be an active man, and hath great designs. 
The two first things he did was to make sure of 
England and the Hollander; he thinks to have 
us safe enough by this marriage ; and Holland by 
a late league, which was bought with a great sum of 
money; for he hath furnished the States with a 
million of livres at two shillings a piece in present, 
and six hundred thousand livres every year of these 
two that are to come; provided that the States 
repay these sums two years after they are in peace 
or truce. The King pressed much for liberty of 
conscience to Roman Catholics amongst them, and 
the deputies promised to do all they could with the 
States General about it ; they articled likewise for 
the French to be associated with them in the trade 
to the Indies. 

Monsieur is lately married to Mary of Bourbon, 
the Duke of Monpensier's daughter. He told her 
" That he would be a better husband than he had 



OF JAMES HOWELL 69 

been a suitor to her ; " for he hung off a good 
while. This marriage was made by the King, and 
Monsieur hath for his appenage 100,000 livres, 
annual rent from Chartres and Blois, 100,000 
livres pension, and 500,000 to be charged yearly 
upon the general receipts of Orleans, in all about 
^70,000. There was much ado before this match 
could be brought about, for there were many op- 
posers, and there be dark whispers that there was 
a deep plot to confine the King to a monastery, 
and that Monsieur should govern; and divers 
great ones have suffered for it, and more are like 
to be discovered. — So I take my leave for the pre- 
sent, and rest, your humble and ready servitor, 

j. H. 

London, March 10, 1626. 



XIV 

To the Lady Jane Savage, Marchioness of 
Winchester 

Excellent Lady, 

I MAY say of your Grace, as it was said once of 
a rare Italian princess, that you are the greatest 
tyrant in the world, because you make all those that 
see you your slaves, much more them that know 
you, I mean those that are acquainted with your 
inward disposition, and with the faculties of your 
soul, as well as the phisnomy of your face ; for 



7 o FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Virtue took as much pains to adorn the one, as 
Nature did to perfect the other. I have had the 
happiness to know both, when your Grace took 
pleasure to learn Spanish, at which time, when my 
betters far had offered their service in this kind, 
I had the honour to be commanded by you often. 
He that hath as much experience of you as I have 
had, will confess that the Handmaid of God Al- 
mighty was never so prodigal of her gifts to any, 
or laboured more to frame an exact model of fe- 
male perfection ; nor was dame Nature only busied 
in this work, but all the Graces did consult and 
co-operate with her, and they wasted so much of 
their treasure to enrich this one piece, that it may 
be a good reason why so many lame and defective 
fragments of women-kind are daily thrust into the 
world. 

I return you here enclosed the sonnet your 
Grace pleased to send me lately, rendered into 
Spanish, and fitted for the same air it had in 
English, both for cadence and number of feet. 
With it I send my most humble thanks, that 
your Grace would descend to command me in 
anything that might conduce to your contentment 
and service ; for there is nothing I desire with a 
greater ambition (and herein I have all the world 
my rival) than to be accounted, Madame, your 
Grace's most humble and ready servitor, 

J. H. 

London, March 15, 1626. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 71 

XV 

To the Right Honourable the Lord Clifford 

My Lord, 

I PRAY be pleased to dispense with this slow- 
ness of mine in answering yours of the first of 
this present. 

Touching the domestic occurrences, the gentle- 
man who is bearer hereof is more capable to give 
you account by discourse than I can in paper. 

For foreign tidings your lordship may under- 
stand that the town of Breda hath been a good 
while making her last will and testament, but now 
there is certain news come that she hath yielded up 
the ghost to Spinola's hands after a tough siege 
of thirteen months, and a circumvallation of near 
upon twenty miles' compass. 

My Lord of Southampton and his eldest son 
sickened at the siege and died at Bergen. The 
adventurous Earl Henry of Oxford, seeming to tax 
the Prince of Orange with slackness to fight, was 
set upon a desperate work, where he melted his 
grease, and so being carried to the Hague he died 
also. I doubt not but you have heard of Grave 
Maurice's death, which happened when the town 
was past cure, which was his more than the State's, 
for he was Marquis of Breda, and had near upon 
thirty thousand dollars annual rent from her ; 
therefore he seemed in a kind of sympathy to 



72 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

sicken with his town, and died before her. He 
had provided plentifully for all his natural child- 
ren ; but could not, though much importuned by 
Doctor Roseus and other divines upon his death- 
bed, be induced to make them legitimate by marry- 
ing the mother of them, for the law there is, that 
if one hath got children of any woman, though 
unmarried to her, yet if he marry her never so 
little before his death, he makes her honest and 
them all legitimate. But it seems the prince post- 
poned the love he bore to this woman and children 
to that which he bore to his brother Henry, for 
had he made the children legitimate, it had pre- 
judiced the brother in point of command and for- 
tunes. Yet he had provided very plentifully for 
them and the mother. 

Grave Henry hath succeeded him in all things, 
and is a gallant gentleman of a French education 
and temper. He charged him at his death to marry 
a young lady, the Count of Solme's daughter, at- 
tending the Queen of Bohemia, whom he had long 
courted, which is thought will take speedy effect. 

When the siege before Breda had grown hot, 
Sir Edward Vere being one day attending Prince 
Maurice, he pointed at a rising place called Ter- 
hay, where the enemy had built a fort (which 
might have been prevented) ; Sir Edward told 
him he feared that fort would be the cause of the 
loss of the town. The Grave spattered and shook 
his head, saying, " It was the greatest error he 
had committed since he knew what belonged to a 



OF JAMES HOWELL 73 

soldier, as also in managing the plot for surprising 
of the citadel of Antwerp, for he repented that he 
had not employed English and French in lieu of 
the slow Dutch, who aimed to have the sole hon- 
our of it, and were not so fit instruments for such 
a nimble piece of service. As soon as Sir Charles 
Morgan gave up the town, Spinola caused a new 
gate to be erected, with this inscription in great 
golden characters : 

Philippo quarto regnante, 
Clara Eugenia Isabella gubernante, 
Ambrosio Spinola obsidente, 
Quatuor Regibus contra conantibus. 
Breda Capta fuit Idibus, etc. 

It is thought that Spinola, now that he hath 
recovered the honour he had lost before Berghen- 
op-Zoom three years since, will not long stay in 
Flanders, but retire. 

No more now, but that I am resolved to continue 
ever your lordship's most humble servitor, 

J. H. 

London, March 19, 1626. 

XVI 

To Mr R. Sc, at York 

I SENT you one of third current, but it was not 
answered. I sent another of the thirteenth like 
a second arrow to find out the first, but I know 
not what 's become of either. I send this to find 



74 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

out the other two, and if this fail, there shall go no 
more out of my quiver. If you forget me I have 
cause to complain ; and more, if you remember 
me. To forget may proceed from the frailty of 
memory ; not to answer me when you mind me is 
pure neglect, and no less than a piacle. — So I rest, 
yours easily to be recovered, J. H. 

Ira furor brevis, brevis est mea littera, cogor, 
Ira correptus, corripuisse stylum. 

London, 19 of July > the first of 
the Dog Days, 1626 



XVII 

To Dr Field, Lord Bishop ofLandaff 

My Lord, 

1SEND you my humble thanks for those worthy 
hospitable favours you were pleased to give me 
at your lodgings in Westminster. I had yours of 
the fifth of this present by the hand of Mr Jon- 
athan Field. The news which fills every corner 
of the town at this time is the sorry and unsuc- 
cessful return that Wimbledon's fleet hath made 
from Spain. It was a fleet that deserved to have 
had a better destiny, considering the strength of 
it, and the huge charge the Crown was at. For 
besides a squadron of sixteen Hollanders, whereof 
Count William, one of Prince Maurice's natural 
sons, was admiral, there were above four score of 



OF JAMES HOWELL 75 

ours, the greatest joint naval power (of ships 
without galleys) that ever spread sail upon salt 
water, which makes the world abroad to stand 
astonished how so huge a fleet could be so sud- 
denly made ready. The sinking of the Long Robin 
with 170 souls in her, in the Bay of Biscay, ere 
she had gone half the voyage was no good augury. 
And the critics of the time say there were many 
other things that promised no good fortune to this 
fleet ; besides they would point at divers errors 
committed in the conduct of the main design ; 
first the odd choice that was made of the admiral, 
who was a mere landman, which made the seamen 
much slight him, it belonging properly to Sir 
Robert Mansell, Vice- Admiral of England, to have 
gone in case the high admiral went not. Then 
they speak of the uncertainty of the enterprise, 
and that no place was pitched upon to be invaded, 
till they came to the height of the South Cape, 
and in sight of shore, where the Lord Wimbledon 
first called a council of war, wherein some would 
be for Malaga, others for Saint Mary Port, others 
for Gibraltar, but most for Calais ; and while they 
were thus consulting the country had an alarm 
given them. Add hereunto the blazing abroad of 
this expedition ere the fleet went out of the Downs, 
for Mercurius Gallobelgicus had it in print that 
it was for the Straits mouth. Now it is a rule that 
great designs of State should be mysteries till they 
come to the very act of performance, and then 
they should turn to exploits. Moreover, when the 



76 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

local attempt was resolved on, there were seven 
ships (by the advice of one Captain Love) suffered 
to go up the river which might have been easily 
taken, and being rich, it is thought they would 
have defrayed well-near the charge of our fleet, 
which ships did much infest us afterwards with 
their ordnance, when we had taken the Fort of 
Puntall. Moreover, the disorderly carriage and 
excess of our landmen (whereof there were 10,000) 
when they were put ashore, who broke into the 
Fryers Caves and other cellars of sweet wines, 
where many hundreds of them being surprised 
and found dead drunk, the Spaniards came and 
tore off their ears and noses and plucked out their 
eyes. And I was told of one merry fellow escap- 
ing that killed an ass for a buck. Lastly, it is laid 
to the admiral's charge that my Lord de la Ware's 
ship being infected, he gave order that the sick 
men should be scattered into divers ships, which 
dispersed the contagion exceedingly, so that some 
thousands died before the fleet returned, which 
was done in a confused manner without any ob- 
servance of sea orders. Yet I do not hear of any 
that will be punished for these miscarriages, which 
will make the dishonour fall more foully upon the 
State. But the most unfortunate passage of all 
was, that though we did nothing by land that was 
considerable, yet if we had stayed but a day or two 
longer, and spent time at sea, the whole fleet of gal- 
leons from Nova Hispania had fallen into our own 
mouths, which came presently in, close along the 



OF JAMES HOWELL 77 

coasts of Barbary, and in all likelihood we might 
have had the opportunity to have taken the richest 
prize that ever was taken on salt water. Add here- 
unto, that while we were thus masters of those seas, 
a fleet of fifty sail of Brazilmen got safe into Lis- 
bon with four of the richest carracks that ever 
came from the East Indies. 

I hear my Lord of Saint David's is to be re- 
moved to Bath and Wells, and it were worth your 
lordship's coming up to endeavour the succeeding 
of him. — So I humbly rest your lordship's most 
ready servitor, J. H. 

London, 10 November 1626. 

XVIII 

To my Lord Duke of Buckingham' s Grace at 
Newmarket 

MAY it please your Grace to peruse and par- 
don these few advertisements which I would 
not dare to present had I not hopes that the good- 
ness which is concomitant with your greatness 
would make them venial. 

My lord, a Parliament is at hand ; the last was 
boisterous, God grant that this may prove more 
calm. A rumour runs that there are clouds already 
engendered which will break out into a storm in 
the lower region, and most of the drops are like 
to fall upon your Grace. This, though it be but 
vulgar astrology, is not altogether to be contemned, 



78 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

though I believe that His Majesty's countenance 
reflecting so strongly upon your Grace, with the 
brightness of your own innocency, may be able to 
dispel and scatter them to nothing. 

My lord, you are a great prince, and all eyes are 
upon your actions ; this makes you more subject 
to envy, which, like the sunbeams, beats always 
upon rising grounds. I know your Grace hath 
many sage and solid heads about you ; yet I trust 
it will prove no offence if, out of the late relation 
I have to your Grace by the recommendation of 
such noble personages, I put in also my mite. 

My lord, under favour, it were not amiss if your 
Grace would be pleased to part with some of those 
places you hold which have least relation to the 
court, and it would take away the mutterings that 
run of multiplicity of offices, and in my shallow 
apprehension your Grace might stand more firm 
without an anchor. The office of High Admiral 
in these times of action requires one whole man to 
execute it ; your Grace hath another sea of business 
to wade through, and the voluntary resigning of 
this office would fill all men, yea, even your ene- 
mies, with admiration and affection, and make you 
more a prince than detract from your greatness. 
If any ill successes happen at sea (as that of the 
Lord Wimbledon's lately), or if there be any mur- 
mur for pay, your Grace will be free from all im- 
putations; besides it will afford your Grace more 
leisure to look into your own affairs, which lie 
confused and unsettled. Lastly (which is not the 



OF JAMES HOWELL 79 

least thing), this act will be so plausible that it may 
much advantage His Majesty in point of subsidy. 

Secondly, it were expedient (under correction) 
that your Grace would be pleased to allot some 
set hours for audience and access of suitors, and it 
would be less cumber to yourself and your serv- 
ants, and give more content to the world, which 
often mutters for difficulty of access. 

Lastly, it were not amiss that your Grace would 
settle a standing mansion-house and family, that 
suitors may know whither to repair constantly, and 
that your servants, every one in his place, might 
know what belongs to his place, and attend accord- 
ingly ; for though confusion in a great family carry 
a kind of state with it, yet order and regularity 
gains a greater opinion of virtue and wisdom. I 
know your Grace doth not (nor needs not) affect 
popularity. It is true that the people's love is 
the strongest citadel of a sovereign prince, but to 
a great subject it hath often proved fatal ; for he 
who pulleth off his hat to the people giveth his 
head to the prince ; and it is remarkable what was 
said of a late unfortunate earl, who a little before 
Queen Elizabeth's death had drawn the axe upon 
his own neck, " that he was grown so popular that 
he was too dangerous for the times, and the times 
for him." 

My lord, now that your Grace is threatened to 
be heaved at, it should behove every one that 
oweth you duty and good will to reach out his 
hand some way or other to serve you. Amongst 



8o FAMILIAR LETTERS 

these, I am one that presumes to do it, in this poor 
impertinent paper; for which I implore pardon, 
because I am, my lord, your Grace's most humble 
and faithful servant, J. H. 

London, 13 February 160.6. 

XIX 

To Sir J. S., Knight 

THERE is a saying which carrieth no little 
weight with it, that "parvus amor loquitur, 
ingens stupet " (small love speaks, whilst great love 
stands astonished with silence). The one keeps 
a-tattling, while the other is struck dumb with 
amazement ; like deep rivers, which to the eye of 
the beholder seem to stand still, while small shallow 
rivulets keep a noise ; or like empty casks that 
make an obstreperous hollow sound, which they 
would not do were they replenished and full of 
substance. It is the condition of my love to you, 
which is so great, and of that profoundness, that it 
hath been silent all this while, being stupefied with 
the contemplation of those high favours, and sun- 
dry sorts of civilities, wherewith I may say you 
have overwhelmed me. This deep ford of my 
affection and gratitude to you I intend to cut out 
hereafter into small currents (I mean into letters), 
that the course of it may be heard, though it make 
but a small bubbling noise, as also that the clear- 
ness of it may appear more visible. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 81 

I desire my service be presented to my noble 
lady, whose fair hands I humbly kiss ; and if she 
want anything that London can afford, she need 
but command her and your most faithful and ready 
servitor, J. H. 

London, n February 1626. 

XX 

To the Right Honourable the Earl R. 

My Lord, 

ACCORDING to promise, and that portion of 
obedience I owe to your commands, I send 
your lordship these few avisos, some whereof I 
doubt not but you have received before, and that 
by abler pens than mine ; yet your lordship may 
happily find herein something which was omitted 
by others, or the former news made clearer by 
circumstance. 

I hear Count Mansfelt is in Paris, having now 
received three routings in Germany ; it is thought 
the French king will piece him up again with new 
recruits. I was told that, as he was seeing the two 
queens one day at dinner, the queen-mother said, 
" They say Count Mansfelt is here amongst this 
crowd. " " I do not believe it," quoth the young 
queen, " for whensoever he seeth a Spaniard he 
runs away." 

Matters go untowardly on our side in Germany, 
but the King of Denmark will be shortly in the 



82 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

field in person; and Bethlem Gabor hath been long 
expected to do something, but some think he will 
prove but a bugbear. Sir Charles Morgan is to 
go to Germany with 6000 auxiliaries to join with 
the Danish army. 

The Parliament is adjourned to Oxford, by 
reason of the sickness which increaseth exceed- 
ingly ; and before the King went out of town there 
died 1500 that very week, and two out of White- 
hall itself. 

There is high clashing again betwixt my lord 
duke and the Earl of Bristol ; they recriminate 
one another of divers things. The earl accuseth 
him, amongst other matters, of certain letters from 
Rome ; of putting His Majesty upon that hazard- 
ous journey to Spain, and of some miscarriages 
at his being in that court. There be articles also 
against the Lord Conway, which I send your lord- 
ship here enclosed. 

I am for Oxford the next week, and thence for 
Wales, to fetch my good old father's blessing : at 
my return, if it shall please God to reprieve me 
in these dangerous times of contagion, I shall 
continue my wonted service to your lordship, if 
it may be done with safety ; so I rest, your lord- 
ship's most humble servitor, 

J.H. 

London, 15 of March 1626. 






OF JAMES HOWELL 83 

XXI 

To the Honourable the Lord Viscount C. 

My Lord, 

SIR JOHN NORTH delivered me one lately 
from your lordship, and I send my humble 
thanks for the venison you intend me. I ac- 
quainted your lordship, as opportunity served, 
with the nimble pace the French match went on 
by the successful negotiation of the Earls of Car- 
lisle and Holland (who outwent the monsieurs 
themselves in courtship), and how in less than 
nine moons this great business was proposed, 
pursued, and perfected, whereas the sun had 
leisure enough to finish his annual progress from 
one end of the Zodiac to the other so many years 
before that of Spain could come to any shape of 
perfection. This may serve to show the difference 
betwixt the two nations, the leaden-heeled pace of 
the one and the quicksilvered motions of the other. 
It shows also how the French is more generous 
in his proceedings, and not so full of scruples, reser- 
vations and jealousies as the Spaniard, but deals 
more frankly, and with a greater confidence and 
gallantry. 

The Lord Duke of Buckingham is now in Paris, 
accompanied with the Earl of Montgomery, and 
he went in a very splendid equipage. The Vene- 
tian and Hollander, with other States that are no 



84 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

friends to Spain, did some good offices to advance 
this alliance, and the new Pope propounded much 
towards it; but Richelieu, the new favourite of 
France, was the cardinal instrument in it. 

This Pope Urban grows very active, not only 
in things present, but ripping up of old matters, 
for which there is a select committee appointed to 
examine accounts and errors passed, not only in 
the time of his immediate predecessor, but others. 
And one told me of a merry pasquil lately in 
Rome, that whereas there are two great statues, 
one of Peter, the other of Paul, opposite one to 
the other upon a bridge, one had clapt a pair of 
spurs upon St Peter's heels, and St Paul asking 
him whither he was bound, he answered, " I ap- 
prehend some danger to stay now in Rome, be- 
cause of this new commission, for I fear they will 
question me for denying my Master." "Truly, 
brother Peter, I shall not stay long after you, 
for I have as much cause to doubt that they will 
question me for persecuting the Christians be- 
fore I was converted." — So I take my leave, and 
rest, your lordship's most humble servitor, 

J.H. 

London, 3 May 1626. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 85 

XXII 

To my Brother •, Master Hugh Penry 

1 THANK you for your late letter, and the 
several good tidings sent me from Wales. In 
requital I can send you gallant news, for we have 
now a most noble new Queen of England, who in 
true beauty is beyond the long-wooed Infanta, for 
she was of a fading flaxen hair, big-lipped, and 
somewhat heavy eyed ; but this daughter of France, 
this youngest branch of Bourbon (being but in her 
cradle when the great Henry her father was put out 
of the world), is of a more lovely and lasting com- 
plexion, a dark brown ; she hath eyes that sparkle 
like stars, and for her physiognomy she may be said 
to be a mirror of perfection. She had a rough pass- 
age in her transfretation to Dover Castle, and in 
Canterbury the King bedded first with her. There 
were a goodly train of choice ladies attended her 
coming upon the bowling-green on Barham Downs, 
upon the way, who divided themselves into two 
rows, and they appeared like so many constella- 
tions ; but methought that the country ladies out- 
shined the courtiers. She brought over with her two 
hundred thousand crowns in gold and silver as half 
her portion, and the other moiety is to be paid at 
the year's end. Her first suite of servants (by ar- 
ticle) are to be French, and as they die English are 
to succeed. She is also allowed twenty-eight eccle- 



86 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

siastics of any order except Jesuits, a bishop for her 
almoner, and to have private exercise of, her relig- 
ion for her and her servants. 

I pray convey the enclosed to my father by the 
next conveniency, and pray present my dear love 
to my sister. I hope to see you at Dyvinnock 
about Michaelmas, for I intend to wait upon my 
father, and will take my mother in the way ; I mean 
Oxford. In the interim I rest your most affection- 
ate brother, J. H. 

London, 16 May 1626. 

XXIII 

To my Uncle , Sir Sackville Trevor ; from 
Oxford 

1AM sorry I must write unto you the sad tidings 
of the dissolution of the Parliament here, which 
was done suddenly. Sir John Elliot was in the heat 
of a high speech against the Duke of Buckingham, 
when the Usher of the Black-Rod knocked at the 
door and signified the King's pleasure, which struck 
a kind of consternation in all the house. My Lord 
Keeper Williams hath parted with the broad seal, 
because, as some say, he went about to cut down 
the scale by which he rose; for some, it seems, did 
ill offices betwixt the duke and him. Sir Thomas 
Coventry hath it now. I pray God he be tender of 
the King's conscience, whereof he is keeper, rather 
than of the seal. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 87 

I am bound to-morrow upon a journey towards 
the mountains to see some friends in Wales, and 
to bring back my father's blessing. For better 
assurance of lodging where I pass, in regard of 
the plague, I have a post warrant as far as Saint 
David's, which is far enough you '11 say, for the 
King hath no ground further on this island. If 
the sickness rage in such extremity at London, 
the term will be held at Reading. 

All your friends here are well, but many look 
blank because of this sudden rupture of the Parlia- 
ment. God Almighty turn all to the best, and stay 
the fury of this contagion, and preserve us from 
further judgments ; so I rest your most affectionate 
nephew, J. H. 

Oxford, 6 August 1626. 

XXIV 

To my Father ; from London 

1WAS now the fourth time at a dead stand in 
the course of my fortunes ; for though I was 
recommended to the duke and received many 
noble respects from him, yet I was told by some 
who are nearest him that somebody hath done me 
ill offices by whispering in his ear that I was too 
much Digbyfied, and so they told me positively 
that I must never expect any employment about 
him of any trust. While I was in this suspense, 
Mr Secretary Conway sent for me and proposed 



88 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

unto me that the King had occasion to send a gen- 
tleman to Italy in nature of a moving agent, and 
though he might have choice of persons of good 
quality that would willingly undertake this em- 
ployment, yet understanding of my breeding he 
made the first proffer to me, and that I should go 
as the King's servant and have allowance accord- 
ingly. I humbly thanked him for the good opin- 
ion he pleased to conceive of me being a stranger 
to him, and desired some time to consider of the 
proposition and of the nature of the employ- 
ment ; so he granted me four days to think upon 
it, and two of them are passed already. If I may 
have a support accordingly, I intend by God's 
Grace (desiring your consent and blessing to go 
along), to apply myself to this course ; but before 
I part with England I intend to send you further 
notice. 

The sickness is miraculously decreased in this 
city and suburbs, for from 5200, which was the 
greatest number that died in one week, and that 
was some forty days since, they are now fallen to 
300. It was the violentest fit of contagion that ever 
was for the time in this island, and such as no story 
can parallel, but the ebb of it was more swift than 
the tide. My brother is well, and so are all your 
friends here, for I do not know of any of your ac- 
quaintance that 's dead of this furious infection. Sir 
John Walter asked me lately how you did, and 
wished me to remember him to you. — So with my 
love to all my brothers and sisters, and the rest of 



OF JAMES HOWELL 89 

my friends which made so much of me lately in the 
country, I rest your dutiful son, J. H. 

London, 7 August 1626. 

XXV 

To the Right Honourable the Lord Conway, 
Principal Secretary of State to His Maj- 
esty at Hampton Court 

Right Honourable, 

SINCE I last attended your lordship here, I 
summoned my thoughts to council and can- 
vassed to and fro within myself the business you 
pleased to impart unto me for going upon the 
King's service to Italy. I considered therein many 
particulars : First, the weight of the employment, 
and what maturity of judgment, discretion, and 
parts are required in him that will personate such 
a man ; next, the difficulties of it, for one must 
send sometimes light out of darkness, and like the 
bee suck honey out of bad as out of good flowers ; 
thirdly, the danger which the undertaker must 
converse withal, and which may fall upon him by 
interception of letters or other cross casualties ; 
lastly, the great expense it will require, being not 
to remain sedentary in one place, as other agents, 
but to be often in itinerary motion. 

Touching the first, I refer myself to your hon- 
our's favourable opinion and the character which 



90 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

my Lord S. and others shall give of me ; for the 
second, I hope to overcome it ; for the third, I 
weigh it not, so that I may merit of my king and 
country; for the last, I crave leave to deal plainly 
with your lordship that I am a cadet, and have 
no other patrimony or support but my breeding, 
therefore I must breathe by the employment. 
And, my lord, I shall not be able to perform what 
shall be expected at my hands under one hundred 
pounds a quarter, and to have bills of credit accord- 
ing. Upon these terms, my lord, I shall apply 
myself to this service, and by God's blessing hope 
to answer all expectations. — So referring the 
pemises to your noble consideration, I rest, my 
lord, your very humble and ready servitor, 

J. H. 

London, September 8, 1626. 



XXVI 

To my Brother, Dr Howell, after Bishop of 
Bristol 

My Brother, 

NEXT to my father, it is fitting you should 
have cognisance of my affairs and fortunes. 
You heard how I was in agitation for an employ- 
ment in Italy, but my Lord Conway demurred upon 
the salary I propounded. I have now waived this 
course. Yet I came off fairly with my lord ; for I 



OF JAMES HOWELL 91 

have a stable home employment proffered me by 
my Lord Scroop, Lord President of the North, 
who sent for me lately to Worcester House, though 
I never saw him before, and there the bargain was 
quickly made that I should go down with him to 
York for secretary, and his lordship hath promised 
me fairly. I will see you at your house in Horsley 
before I go, and leave the particular circumstances 
of this business till then. 

The French that came over with Her Majesty, 
for their petulancy and some misdemeanours, and 
imposing some odd penances upon the Queen, are 
all cashiered this week, about a matter of six score, 
whereof the Bishop of Mende was one, who had 
stood to be steward of Her Majesty's courts, which 
office my Lord of Holland hath. It was a thing 
suddenly done, for about one of the clock, as they 
were at dinner, my Lord Conway and Sir Thomas 
Edmonds came with an order from the King that 
they must instantly away to Somerset House, for 
there were barges and coaches staying for them ; 
and there they should have all their wages paid 
them to a penny, and so they must be content to 
quit the kingdom. This sudden undreamed of 
order struck an astonishment into them all, both 
men and women ; and running to complain to the 
Queen, His Majesty had taken her before into his 
bedchamber, and locked the doors upon them until 
he had told her how matters stood. The Queen fell 
into a violent passion, broke the glass windows, and 
tore her hair ; but she was calmed afterwards. Just 



9a FAMILIAR LETTERS 

such a destiny happened in France some years since 
to the Queen's Spanish servants there, who were all 
dismissed in like manner for some miscarriages. 
The like was done in Spain to the French, there- 
fore it is no new thing. 

They are all now on their way to Dover ; but 
I fear this will breed ill-blood betwixt us and 
France, and may break out into an ill-favoured 
quarrel. 

Master Montague is preparing to go to Paris as 
a messenger of honour, to prepossess the King and 
Council therewith the truth of things. 

So with my very kind respects to my sister, I 
rest your loving brother, J. H. 

London, 15 March 1626. 

XXVII 

To the Right Honourable the Lord S. 

My Lord, 

IiVM bound shortly for York, where I am 
hopeful of a profitable employment. There is 
fearful news come from Germany, that since Sir 
Charles Morgan went thither with 6000 men for the 
assistance of the King of Denmark, the King hath 
received an utter overthrow by Tilly. He had 
received a fall off a horse from a wall five yards 
high a little before, yet it did him little hurt. 

Tilly pursueth his victory strongly, and is got 
over the Elbe to Holsteinland, insomuch that they 



OF JAMES HOWELL 93 

write from Hamburg that Denmark is in danger 
to be utterly lost. The Danes and Germans seem 
to lay some fault upon our King, the King upon 
the Parliament that would not supply him with 
subsidies to assist his uncle and the Prince Pals- 
grave, both which was promised upon the rupture 
of the treaties with Spain, which was done by the 
advice of both Houses. 

This is the ground that His Majesty hath lately 
sent out privy seals for loan moneys until a Par- 
liament may be called, in regard that the King of 
Denmark is distressed, the Sound like to be lost, 
the Eastland trade and the staple at Hamburg 
in danger to be destroyed, and the English garri- 
son under Sir Charles Morgan at Stoad ready to be 
starved. 

These loan-moneys keep a great noise, and they 
are imprisoned that deny to conform themselves. 

I fear I shall have no more opportunity to send 
to your lordship till I go to York, therefore I 
humbly take my leave, and kiss your hands, being 
ever, my lord, your obedient and ready servitor, 

J. H. 

XXVIII 
To Mr R. L., Merchant 

1MET lately with J. Harris in London, and I 
had not seen him two years before, and then 
I took him, and knew him to be a man of thirty, 
but now one would take him by his hair to be near 



94 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

threescore, for he is all turned gray. I wondered at 
such a metamorphosis in so short a time. He told 
me it was for the death of his wife that nature had 
thus antedated his years. It is true that a weighty 
settled sorrow is of that force that, besides the 
contradiction of the spirits, it will work upon the 
radical moisture, and dry it up, so that the hair 
can have no moisture at the root. This made me 
remember a story that a Spanish advocate told me, 
which is a thing very remarkable. 

When the Duke of Alva was in Brussels, about 
the beginning of the tumults in the Netherlands, 
he had sat down before Hulst in Flanders, and 
there was a provost-marshal in his army, who was 
a favourite of his, and this provost had put some 
to death by secret commission from the duke. 
There was one Captain Bolea in the army, who was 
an intimate friend of the provost's, and one even- 
ing late he went to the said captain's tent, and 
brought with him a confessor and an executioner, 
as it was his custom. He told the captain that he 
was come to execute his excellency's commission 
and martial law upon him. The captain started up 
suddenly, his hair standing at an end, and being 
struck with amazement, asked him wherein he had 
offended the duke. The provost answered, Sir, I 
come not to expostulate the business with you, but 
to execute my commission. Therefore I pray pre- 
pare yourself, for there 's your ghostly father and 
executioner. So he fell on his knees before the 
priest, and having done, the hangman going to put 



OF JAMES HOWELL 95 

the halter about his neck the provost threw it away, 
and breaking into a laughter told him there was no 
such thing, and that he had done this to try his 
courage, how he could bear the terror of death. 
The captain looked ghastly upon him, and said, 
Then, sir, get you out of my tent, for you have 
done me a very ill office. The next morning the 
said Captain Bolea, though a young man of about 
thirty, had his hair all turned gray, to the admira- 
tion of all the world and of the Duke of Alva him- 
self, who questioned him about it, but he would 
confess nothing. The next year the duke was re- 
voked, and in his journey to the court of Spain he 
was to pass by Saragossa, and this Captain Bolea 
and the provost went along with him as his domes- 
tics. The duke being to repose some days in Sara- 
gossa the young-old Captain Bolea told him that 
there was a thing in that town worthy to be seen 
by his excellency, which was a casa de locos, a 
bedlam-house, for there was not the like in Christ- 
endom. Well, said the duke, go and tell the warden 
I will be there to-morrow in the afternoon, and wish 
him to be in the way. The captain having obtained 
this went to the warden and told him that the duke 
would come to visit the house the next day, and 
the chiefest occasion that moved him to it was that 
he had an unruly provost about him who was sub- 
ject oftentimes to fits of frenzy, and because he 
wisheth him well he had tried divers means to cure 
him, but all would not do, therefore he would try 
whether keeping him close in Bedlam for some 



96 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

days would do him any good. The next day the 
duke came with a ruffling train of captains after 
him, amongst whom was the said provost, very 
shining brave ; being entered into the house about 
the duke's person, Captain Bolea told the warden, 
pointing at the provost, that 's the man. So he took 
him aside into a dark lobby, where he had placed 
some of his men, who muffled him in his cloak, 
seized upon his gilt sword with his hat and feather, 
and so hurried him down into a dungeon. My pro- 
vost had lain there two nights and a day, and after- 
wards it happened that a gentleman coming out of 
curiosity to see the house peeped in at a small grate 
where the provost was. The provost conjured him, 
as he was a Christian, to go and tell the Duke of 
Alva his provost was there clapped up, nor could 
he imagine why. The gentleman did the errand, 
whereat the duke, being astonished, sent for the 
warden with his prisoner. So he brought my pro- 
vost, en cuerpo madman-like, full of straws and 
feathers before the duke, who at the sight of him, 
breaking out into laughter, asked the warden why 
he had made him his prisoner. Sir, said the warden, 
it was by virtue of your excellency's commission 
brought me by Captain Bolea. Bolea stepped forth 
and told the duke, Sir, you have asked me oft 
how these hairs of mine grew so suddenly gray. I 
have not revealed it yet to any soul breathing, but 
now I '11 tell your excellency, and so fell a-relating 
the passage in Flanders. And, sir, I have been 
ever since beating my brains how to get an equal 



OF JAMES HOWELL 97 

revenge of him ; and I thought no revenge to be 
more equal or corresponding, now that you see he 
hath made me old before my time, than to make 
him mad if I could, and had he stayed some days 
longer close prisoner in the bedlam-house, it might 
haply have wrought some impressions upon his 
pericranium. The duke was so well pleased with 
the story, and the wittiness of the revenge, that he 
made them both friends ; and the gentleman who 
told me this passage said that the said Captain 
Bolea was yet alive, so that he could not be less 
than ninety years of age. 

I thank you a thousand times for the Cepha- 
lonia Muscadel and Botargo you sent me ; I hope 
to be shortly quit with you for all courtesies ; in 
the interim I am vour obliged friend to serve you, 

J. H. 

York, this 1 May 1626. 

Postscript 

1AM sorry to hear of the trick that Sir John 
Ayres put upon the company by the box of 
hailshot, signed with the ambassador's seal, that he 
had sent so solemnly from Constantinople, which 
he made the world believe to be full of chequins 
and Turkey gold. 



EPISTOLjE HO-ELIAN.E 
SECTION V 



SECTION V 



To Dan Caldwall, Esq. ; from York 

My Dear D., 

THOUGH I may be termed a right Northern 
man, being a good way this side Trent, yet 
my love is as Southern as ever it was ; I mean it 
continueth still in the same degree of heat, nor 
can this bleaker air or boreas* chilling blasts cool it 
a whit. I am the same to you this side Trent as 
I was the last time we crossed the Thames together 
to see Smug the smith, and so back to the still- 
yard ; but I fear that your love to me doth not 
continue in so constant and intense a degree, and 
I have good grounds for this fear, because I never 
received one syllable from you since I left London. 
If you rid me not of this scruple, and send to 
me speedily, I shall think, though you live under 
a hotter clime in the South, that your former love 
is not only cooled, but frozen. 

For this present condition of life, I thank God, 
I live well contented. I have a fee from the King, 
diet for myself and two servants, livery for a horse, 
and a part of the King's house for my lodging, and 
other privileges which I am told no secretary 
before me had; but I must tell you the perquisites 



io2 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

are nothing answerable to my expectation yet. I 
have built me a new study since I came, wherein 
I shall amongst others meditate sometimes on you 
and whence this present letter comes. So with 
a thousand thanks for the plentiful hospitality and 
jovial farewell you gave me at your house in Es- 
sex, I rest yours, yours, yours, J. H. 
York, 13 July 1627. 

II 

To Mr Richard Leaf 

SIGNOR mio, it is now a great while methinks 
since any act of friendship, or other inter- 
changeable offices of love hath passed between us, 
either by letters or other accustomed ways of cor- 
respondence ; and as I will not accuse, so I go not 
about to clear myself in this point, let this long 
silence be termed therefore a cessation rather than 
neglect on both sides. A bow that lies a while un- 
bent, and a field that remains fallow for a time, grow 
never the worse, but afterwards the one sends forth 
an arrow more strongly, the other yields a better 
crop being recultivated. Let this be also verified 
in us, let our friendship grow more fruitful after 
this pause, let it be more active for the future. 
You see I begin and shoot the first shaft. I send 
you herewith a couple of red deer pies, the one Sir 
Arthur Ingram gave me, the other my Lord Presi- 
dent's cook ; I could not tell where to bestow 



OF JAMES HOWELL 103 

them better. In your next let me know which is 
the best seasoned. I pray let the Sydonian mer- 
chant, J. Bruckhurst, be at the eating of them, and 
then I know they will be well soaked. If you 
please to send me a barrel or two of oysters, which 
we want here, I promise you they shall be well 
eaten with a cup of the best claret and the best 
sherry, to which wine this town is altogether ad- 
dicted, shall not be wanting. 

I understand the Lord Weston is Lord Treas- 
urer, we may say now that we have treasurers of all 
tenses, for there are four living, to wit, the Lords 
Manchester, Middlesex, Marlborough, and the 
newly-chosen. I hear also that the good old man 
(the last) hath retired to his lodgings in Lincoln's 
Inn, and so reduced himself to his first principles, 
which makes me think that he cannot bear up long 
now that the staff is taken from him. I pray in your 
next send me the Venitian Gazette. — So with my 
kind respects to your father, I rest yours, 

J. H. 

York, 9 July 1627. 



Ill 
To Sir Ed. Sa., Knight 

SIR, it was no great matter to be a prophet, and 
to have foretold this rupture betwixt us and 
France upon the sudden renvoy of Her Majesty's 
servants, for many of them had sold their estates 



104 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

in France, given money for their places, and so 
thought to live and die in England in the Queen's 
service, and so have pitifully complained to that 
king ; thereupon he hath arrested above ioo of 
our merchantmen that went to the vintage at Bor- 
deaux. We also take some stragglers of theirs, for 
there are letters of mart given on both sides. 

There are writs issued out for a Parliament, and 
the town of Richmond in Richmondshire hath 
made choice of me for their burgess, though Mas- 
ter Christopher Wansfordand other powerful men, 
and more deserving than I, stood for it. I pray 
God send fair weather in the House of Commons, 
for there is much murmuring about the restraint 
of those that would not conform to loan-moneys. 
There is a great fleet a-preparing and an army of 
landmen, but the design is uncertain whether it be 
against Spain or France, for we are now in enmity 
with both those crowns. The French Cardinal 
hath been lately to the other side the Alps, and set- 
tled the Duke of Nevers in the Dutchy of Man- 
tua, notwithstanding the opposition of the King of 
Spain and the Emperor, who alleged that he was to 
receive his investiture from him, and that was the 
chief ground of the war ; but the French arms 
have done the work, and come triumphantly back 
over the hills again. — No more now, but that I 
am as always your true friend, J. H. 

March 2, 1627. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 105 



IV 

To the Worshipful Mr Alderman of the town 
of Richmond, and the rest of the worthy mem- 
bers of that ancient corporation. 

1 RECEIVED a public instrument from you 
lately, subscribed by yourself, and divers others, 
wherein I find that you have made choice of me to 
be one of your burgesses for this now near-ap- 
proaching Parliament. I could have wished that 
you had not put by Master Wandesford and other 
worthy gentlemen that stood so earnestly for it, 
who being your neighbours had better means and 
more abilities to serve you. Yet since you have 
cast these high respects upon me, I will endeavour 
to acquit myself of the trust, and to answer your 
expectation accordingly ; and as I account this 
election an honour unto me, so I esteem it a great 
advantage that so worthy and well-experienced 
a knight as Sir Talbot Bows is to be my colleague 
and fellow-burgess. I shall steer by his compass 
and follow his directions in anything that may con- 
cern the welfare of your town and of the precincts 
thereof, either for redress of any grievance or by 
proposing some new thing that may conduce to 
the further benefit and advantage thereof, and this 
I take to be the true duty of a Parliamentary bur- 
gess, without roving at random to generals. I hope 
to learn of Sir Talbot what 's fitting to be done, 



106 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

and I shall apply myself accordingly to join with 
him to serve you with my best abilities. — So I rest, 
your most assured and ready friend to do you 
service, J. H. 

London, March 24, 1627. 



To the Right Honourable the Lord Clifford at 
Knaresborough 

My Lord, 

THE news that fills all mouths at present is 
the return of the Duke of Buckingham from 
the Isle of Ree, or, as some call it, the Isle of Rue, 
for the bitter success we had there; for we had 
but a tart entertainment in that salt island. Our 
first invasion was magnanimous and brave, whereat 
near upon 200 French gentlemen perished, and 
divers barons of quality. My Lord Newport had 
ill luck to disorder our cavalry with an unruly 
horse he had. His brother, Sir Charles Rich, was 
slain, and divers more upon the retreat. Amongst 
others great Colonel Gray fell into a salt pit, and 
being ready to be drowned, he cried out, Cent 
mille escus pour ma ran$on, " A hundred thousand 
crowns for my ransom." The Frenchmen, hearing 
that, preserved him, though he was not worth a 
hundred thousand pence. Another merry passage 
a captain told me, that when they were rifling the 
dead bodies of the French gentlemen after the first 



OF JAMES HOWELL 107 

invasion, they found that many of them had their 
mistress's favours tied about their genitories. The 
French do much glory to have repelled us thus, 
and they have reason, for the truth is they com- 
ported themselves gallantly, yet they confess our 
landing was a notable piece of courage, and if our 
retreat had been answerable to the invasion, we had 
lost no honour at all. A great number of gallant 
gentlemen fell on our side, as Sir John Heydon, 
Sir John Burrowes, Sir George Blundel, Sir Alex. 
Bret, with divers veteran commanders who came 
from the Netherlands to this service. 

God send us better success the next time, for 
there is another fleet preparing to be sent under 
the command of the Lord Denbigh. — So I kiss 
your hand, and am your humble servitor, 

J.H. 

London, 24 of September 1627. 

VI 

To the Right Honourable the Lord Scroop, Earl 
of Sunderland, Lord President of the North 

My Lord, 

MY Lord Denbigh is returned from attempt- 
ing to relieve Rochelle, which is reduced to 
extreme exigent ; and now the duke is preparing 
to go again, with as great power as was yet raised, 
notwithstanding that the Parliament hath flown 
higher at him than ever, which makes the people 



io8 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

here hardly wish any good success to the expedi- 
tion, because he is general. The Spaniard stands 
at a gaze all this while, hoping that we may do the 
work, otherwise I think he would find some way 
to relieve the town, for there is nothing conduceth 
more to the uniting and strengthening of the 
French monarchy than the reduction of Rochelle. 
The King hath been there long in person with his 
cardinal, and the stupendous works they have raised 
by sea and land are beyond belief, as they say. The 
sea works and booms were traced out by Marquis 
Spinola, as he was passing that way for Spain from 
Flanders. 

The Parliament is prorogued till Michaelmas 
term. There were five subsidies granted, the great- 
est gift that ever subjects gave their king at once ; 
and it was in requital that His Majesty passed the 
Petition of Right, whereby the liberty of the free- 
born subject is so strongly and clearly vindicated. 
So that there is a fair correspondence like to be 
betwixt His Majesty and the two Houses. The 
duke made a notable speech at the council table 
in joy hereof. Amongst other passages one was, 
" That hereafter His Majesty would please to make 
the Parliament his favourite, and he to have the 
honour to remain still his servant." No more now 
but that I continue your lordship's most dutiful 
servant, J. H. 

London, 25 September 1628. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 109 



VII 

To the Right Honourable the Lady Scroop , 
Countess of Sunderland; from Stamford 

Madam, 

I LAY yesternight at the post-house at Stilton, 
and this morning betimes the postmaster came 
to my bed's head and told me the Duke of Buck- 
ingham was slain. My faith was not then strong 
enough to believe it, till an hour ago I met in 
the way with my Lord of Rutland (your brother) 
riding post towards London. It pleased him to 
alight and show me a letter, wherein there was 
an exact relation of all the circumstances of this sad 
tragedy. 

Upon Saturday last, which was but next before 
yesterday being Bartholomew eve, the duke did 
rise up in a well-disposed humour out of his bed, 
and cut a caper or two ; and being ready, and 
having been under the barber's hands (where the 
murderer had thought to have done the deed, for 
he was leaning upon the window all the while), he 
went to breakfast attended by a great company of 
commanders, where Monsieur Soubize came unto 
him, and whispered him in the ear that Rochelle 
was relieved ; the duke seemed to slight the news, 
which made some think that Soubize went away 
discontented. After breakfast the duke going out, 
Colonel Fryer stepped before him, and stopping 



no FAMILIAR LETTERS 

him upon some business, one Lieutenant Felton 
being behind, made a thrust with a common ten- 
penny knife over Fryer's arm at the duke, which 
lighted so fatally, that he slit his heart in two, leav- 
ing the knife sticking in the body. The duke took 
out the knife and threw it away, and laying his 
hand on his sword, and drawing it half out, said, 
"The villain hath killed me" (meaning, as some 
think, Colonel Fryer), for there had been some 
difference betwixt them, so reeling against a chim- 
ney he fell down dead. The duchess being with 
child, hearing the noise below, came in her night- 
gears from her bedchamber, which was in an upper 
room, to a kind of rail, and thence beheld him 
weltering in his own blood. Felton had lost his 
hat in the crowd, wherein there was a paper sowed, 
wherein he declared that the reason which moved 
him to this act was no grudge of his own, though 
he had been far behind for his pay, and had been 
put by his captain's place twice, but in regard he 
thought the duke an enemy to the State, because 
he was branded in Parliament, therefore what he 
did was for the public good of his country. Yet 
he got clearly down, and so might have gone to 
his horse, which was tied to a hedge hard by ; but 
he was so amazed that he missed his way, and so 
struck into the pastry, where though the cry went 
that some Frenchman had done it, he, thinking 
the word was Felton, he boldly confessed it was he 
that had done the deed, and so he was in their 
hands. Jack Stamford would have run at him, but 



OF JAMES HOWELL m 

he was kept off by Mr Nicholas ; so being carried 
up to a tower, Captain Mince tore off his spurs, 
and asking how he durst attempt such an act, 
making him believe the duke was not dead, he 
answered boldly that he knew he was despatched, 
for it was not he but the hand of heaven that gave 
the stroke, and though his whole body had been 
covered over with armour of proof he could not 
have avoided it. Captain Charles Price went post 
presently to the King four miles off, who being at 
prayers on his knees when it was told him, yet he 
never stirred, nor was he disturbed a whit till all 
Divine service was done. This was the relation as 
far as my memory could bear, in my Lord of Rut- 
land's letter, who willed me to remember him unto 
your ladyship, and tell you that he was going to 
comfort your niece (the duchess) as fast as he 
could. And so I have sent the truth of this sad 
story to your ladyship as fast as I could by this 
post, because I cannot make that speed myself, in 
regard of some business I have to despatch for my 
lord in the way. — So I humbly take my leave, 
and rest your ladyship's most dutiful servant, 

J.H. 
Stamford, August 5, 1628. 



ii2 FAMILIAR LETTERS 



VIII 

To the Right Honourable Sir ; Peter Wichts, 
His Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople 

My Lord, 

YOURS of the 2nd of July came to safe hand, 
and I did all those particulars recandos you 
enjoined me to do to some of your friends here. 

The town of Rochelle hath been fatal and un- 
fortunate to England, for this is the third time that 
we have attempted to relieve her, but our fleets and 
forces returned without doing anything. My Lord 
of Lindsey went thither with the same fleet the 
duke intended to go on, but he is returned with- 
out doing any good. He made some shots at the 
great boom and other barricades at sea, but at such 
a distance that they could do no hurt, insomuch 
that the town is now given for lost and to be past 
cure, and they cry out we have betrayed them. At 
the return of this fleet two of the whelps were cast 
away, and three ships more, and some five ships 
who had some of those great stones that were 
brought to build St Paul's, for ballast and for other 
uses, within them, which could promise no good 
success, for I never heard of anything that pros- 
pered which being once designed for the honour of 
God was alienated from that use. The Queen in- 
terposeth for the releasement of my Lord of New- 
port and others who are prisoners of war. I hear 



OF JAMES HOWELL 113 

that all the colours they took from us are hung up 
in the great church of Notre Dame as trophies in 
Paris. Since I began this letter there is news 
brought that Rochelle hath yielded, and that the 
King hath dismantled the town, and razed all the 
fortifications landward, but leaves those standing 
which are toward the sea. It is a mighty exploit 
the French King hath done, for Rochelle was the 
chiefest propugnation of the Protestants there, and 
now questionless all the rest of their cautionary 
towns which they kept for their own defence will 
yield, so that they must depend hereafter upon the 
King's mere mercy. I hear of an overture of peace 
betwixt us and Spain, and that my Lord Cotting- 
ton is to go thither and Don Carlos Coloma to 
come to us. God grant it, for you know the saying 
in Spanish, " Nunca vi tan mala paz, que no fuera 
mejor, que la mejor guerra. ,, It was a bold thing 
in England to fall out with the two greatest mon- 
archs of Christendom, and to have them both her 
enemies at one time, and as glorious a thing it was 
to bear up against them. God turn all to the best, 
and dispose of things to His glory. — So I rest 
your lordship's ready servitor, 

J.H. 
London, 1 September 1628. 



ii 4 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

IX 

To my Cousin, Mr St Geon, at Christ Church 
College in Oxford 

Cousin, 

THOUGH you want no incitements to go on 
in that fair road of virtue where you are now 
running your course, yet being lately in your noble 
father's company, he did intimate unto me that 
anything which came from me would take with you 
very much. I hear so well of your proceedings 
that I should rather commend than encourage you. 
I know you were removed to Oxford in full matu- 
rity. You were a good orator, a good poet, and a 
good linguist for your time. I would not have that 
fate light upon you, which useth to befall some, 
who from golden students become silver bachelors 
and leaden masters. I am far from entertaining 
any such thought of you, that logic with her quid- 
dities and §)uae la vel Hipps can any way unpolish 
your humane studies. As logic is clubfisted and 
crabbed, so she is terrible at first sight. She is like 
a gorgon's head to a young student, but after a 
twelve months' constancy and patience this Gor- 
gon's head will prove a mere bugbear. When you 
have devoured the Organon you will find philo- 
sophy far more delightful and pleasing to your 
palate. In feeding the soul with knowledge the 
understanding requireth the same consecutive acts 



OF JAMES HOWELL 115 

which nature useth in nourishing the body. To 
the nutrition of the body there are two essential 
conditions required, assumption and retention. 
Then there follows two more iro/ri? and wpocrTaxfji^, 
Concoction and Agglutination or adhesion. So in 
feeding your soul with science, you must first as- 
sume and suck in the matter into your apprehen- 
sion, then must the memory retain and keep it in, 
afterwards by disputation, discourse and medita- 
tion. It must be well concocted, then must it be 
agglutinated and converted to nutriment. All this 
may be reduced to these two heads, teneri fideliter, 
£s? uti faeliciter> which are two of the happiest pro- 
perties in a student. There is another act required 
to good concoction called the act of expulsion, 
which puts off all that is unsound and noxious, so 
in study there must be an expulsive virtue to shun 
all that is erroneous, and there is no science but is 
full of such stuff, which by direction of tutor and 
choice of good books must be excerned. Do not 
confound yourself with multiplicity of authors ; 
two is enough upon any science, provided they be 
plenary and orthodox. Philosophy should be your 
substantial food, poetry your banqueting stuff. 
Philosophy hath more of reality in it than any 
knowledge. The philosopher can fathom the deep, 
measure mountains, reach the stars with a staff, and 
bless heaven with a girdle. 

But amongst these studies you must not forget 
the unicum necessarium. On Sundays and holidays 
let divinity be the sole object of your speculation, 



n6 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

in comparison whereof all other knowledge is but 
cobweb learning, prae qua quisquiliae caetera. 

When you can make truce with study, I should 
be glad you would employ some superfluous hour 
or other to write unto me, for I much covet your 
good, because I am your affectionate cousin, 

J. H. 

London, 25 October 1627. 

X 

To Sir Sackvil Trevor y Knight 

Noble Uncle, 

I SEND you my humble thanks for the curious 
sea-chest of glasses you pleased to bestow on 
me, which I shall be very chary to keep as a mon- 
ument of your love. I congratulate also the great 
honour you have got lately by taking away the 
spirit of France ; I mean by taking the third great 
vessel of her Sea-Trinity, her Holy Spirit, which 
had been built in the mouth of the Texel for the 
service of her King. Without complimenting with 
you, it was one of the best exploits that was per- 
formed since these wars began ; and besides the 
renown you have purchased, I hope your reward 
will be accordingly from His Majesty, whom I re- 
member you so happily preserved from drowning 
in all probability at St Anderas Road in Spain. 
Though princes' guerdons come slow, yet they 
come sure. And it is oftentimes the method of 



OF JAMES HOWELL 117 

God Almighty Himself to be long both in His 
rewards and punishments. 

As you have bereft the French of their Saint 
Esprit, their Holy Spirit, so there is news that the 
Hollander have taken from Spain all her saints ; I 
mean Todos los santos, which is one of the chiefest 
staples of sugar in Brazil. No more but that I wish 
you all health, honour, and heart's desire. Your 
much obliged nephew and servitor, J. H. 

London, 26 of October 1625. 

XI 

To Captain Tho. B. ; from York 

Noble Captain, 

YOURS of the first of March was delivered 
me by Sir Richard Scot, and I held it no pro- 
fanation of this Sunday evening, considering the 
quality of my subject, and having (I thank God 
for it) performed all church duties, to employ some 
hours to meditate on you, and send you this 
friendly salute, though I confess in an unusual 
monitory way. My dear captain, I love you per- 
fectly well, I love both your person and parts which 
are not vulgar. I am in love with your disposition, 
which is generous, and I verily think you were 
never guilty of any pusillanimous act in your life. 
Nor is this love of mine conferred upon you gratis, 
but you may challenge it as your due, and by way 
of correspondence, in regard to those thousand 



n8 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

convincing evidences you have given me of yours 
to me, which ascertain me that you take me for 
a true friend. Now I am of the number of those 
that had rather commend the virtue of an enemy 
than soothe the vices of a friend ; for your own 
particular, if your parts of virtue and your infirm- 
ities were cast into a balance, I know the first 
would much out-poise the other ; yet give me 
leave to tell you that there is one frailty, or rather 
ill-favoured custom, that reigns in you, which 
weighs much: it is a humour of swearing in all your 
discourses, and they are not slight, but deep, far- 
fetched oaths that you are wont to rap out, which 
you use as flowers of rhetoric to enforce a faith 
upon the hearers, who believe you never the more, 
and you use this in cold blood when you are not 
provoked, which makes the humour far more dan- 
gerous. I know many (and I cannot say I myself 
am free from it, God forgive me) that, being trans- 
ported with choler, and as it were made drunk 
with passion by some sudden provoking accident, 
or extreme ill-fortune at play, will let fall oaths 
and deep protestations, but to belch out and send 
forth as it were whole volleys of oaths and curses 
in a calm humour, to verify every trivial discourse, 
is a thing of horror. I knew a king that being 
crossed in his game would amongst his oaths fall 
on the ground and bite the very earth in the rough 
of his passion. I heard of another king (Henry 
the Fourth of France) that in his highest distem- 
per would swear but ventre de Saint Gris, by the 



OF JAMES HOWELL 119 

belly of Saint Gris. I heard of an Italian that, 
having been much accustomed to blaspheme, was 
weaned from it by a pretty wile ; for having been 
one night at play and lost all his money, after many 
execrable oaths, and having offered money to an- 
other to go out to face heaven and defy God, he 
threw himself upon a bed hard by, and there fell 
asleep. The other gamesters played on still, and 
finding that he was fast asleep, they put out the 
candles, and made semblance to play on still ; they 
fell a-wrangling and spoke so loud that he awoke ; 
he, hearing them play on still, fell a-rubbing his 
eyes, and his conscience presently prompted him 
that he was struck blind, and that God's judgment 
had deservedly fallen down upon him for his blas- 
phemies, and so he fell to sigh and weep pitifully. 
A ghostly father was sent for, who undertook to 
do some acts of penance for him, if he would make 
a vow never to play again or blaspheme, which he 
did, and so the candles were lighted again, which 
he thought were burning all the while ; so he be- 
came a perfect convert. I could wish this letter 
might produce the same effect in you. There is a 
strong text that the curse of heaven hangs always 
over the dwelling of the swearer, and you have 
more fearful examples of miraculous judgments in 
this particular than of any other sin. 

There is a little town in Languedoc in France 
that hath a multitude of the pictures of the Virgin 
Mary up and down, but she is made to carry Christ 
in her right hand, contrary to the ordinary custom ; 



120 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

and the reason they told me was this, that two 
gamesters being at play, and one having lost all his 
money, and bolted out many blasphemies, he gave 
a deep oath that that whore upon the wall, mean- 
ing the picture of the Blessed Virgin, was the cause 
of his ill luck ; hereupon the child removed im- 
perceptibly from the left arm to the right, and 
the man fell stark dumb ever after it. Thus went 
the tradition there. This makes me think upon the 
Lady Southwel's news from Utopia, that he who 
sweareth when he playeth at dice may challenge his 
damnation by way of purchase. This infamous 
custom of swearing I observe reigns in England 
lately more than anywhere else, though a German 
in his highest puff of passion swears a hundred 
thousand Sacraments, the Italian by the whore of 
God, the French by his death, the Spaniard by his 
flesh, the Welshman by his sweat, the Irishman by 
his five wounds, though the Scot commonly bids 
the devil heal his soul, yet for variety of oaths the 
English roarers put down all. Consider well what 
a dangerous thing it is to tear in pieces that dread- 
ful name which makes the vast fabric of the world 
to tremble, that holy name wherein the whole 
hierarchy of heaven doth triumph, that blissful 
name wherein consists the fulness of all felicity. 
I know this custom in you yet is but a light dis- 
position ; it is no habit I hope. Let me therefore 
conjure you by that power of friendship, by that 
holy league of love which is between us, that you 
would suppress it before it come to that, for I must 



OF JAMES HOWELL 121 

tell you that those who could find in their hearts 
to love you for many other things do disrespect 
you for this ; they hate your company, and give 
no credit to whatsoever you say, it being one of 
the punishments of a swearer as well as of a liar 
not to be believed when he speaks truth. 

Excuse me that I am so free with you ; what 
I write proceeds from the clear current of a pure 
affection, and I shall heartily thank you, and take 
it for an argument of love, if you tell me of my 
weaknesses, which are (God wot) too too many ; 
for my body is but a cargazon of corrupt humours, 
and being not able to overcome them all at once, 
I do endeavour to do it by degrees, like Sertorius, 
his soldier, who when he could not cut off the 
horse tail with his sword at one blow, fell to pull 
out the hairs one by one. And touching this par- 
ticular humour from which I dissuade you, it hath 
raged in me too often by contingent fits, but I 
thank God for it I find it much abated and purged. 
Now the only physic I used was a precedent fast, 
and recourse to the Holy Sacrament the next day, 
of purpose to implore pardon for what had passed, 
and power for the future to quell those exorbitant 
motions, those ravings and feverish fits of the 
soul, in regard there are no infirmities more dan- 
gerous, for at the same instant they have being 
they become impieties. And the greatest symptom 
of amendment I find in me is, because whensoever 
I hear the holy name of God blasphemed by any 
other, it makes my heart to tremble within my 



122 



FAMILIAR LETTERS 



breast. Now it is a penitential rule, that if sins 
present do not please thee, sins passed will not hurt 
thee. All other sins have for their object either 
pleasure or profit, or some aim and satisfaction to 
body or mind, but this hath none at all, therefore 
fie upon it, my dear captain, try whether you can 
make a conquest of yourself in subduing this 
execrable custom. Alexander subdued the world, 
Caesar his enemies, Hercules monsters, but he that 
overcomes himself is the true valiant captain. I 
have herewith sent you a hymn consonant to this 
subject, because I know you are musical and a 
good poet. 



A gradual Hymn of a double cadence, tending to the Honour 
of the Holy Name of God 



i . Let the vast universe, 

And therein everything, 
The mighty acts rehearse 
Of their immortal King, 
His name extol 
What to Nadir 
From zenith stir 
'Twixt pole and pole. 



3. Earth which the centre art 

And only standest still, 
Yet move, and bear thy part; 
Resound with echoes shrill, 
Thy mines of gold, 
With precious stones, 
And unions, 
His fame uphold. 



2. Ye elements that move, 

And alter every hour, 
Yet herein constant prove, 
And symbolise all four, 
His praise to tell, 
Mix all in one, 
For air and tone 
To sound this peal. 



4. Let all thy fragrant flowers 
Grow sweeter by this air, 
Thy tallest trees and bowers 
Bud forth and blossom fair, 
Beasts, wild and tame, 
Whom lodgings yield 
House, dens or field, 
Collaud His name. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 



123 



5. Ye seas with earth that make 
One globe flow high and 

swell, 
Exalt your Maker's name, 
In deep His wonders tell : 
Leviathan, 
And what doth swim, 
Near bank or brim, 
His glory scan. 

6. Ye airy regions all 
Join in a sweet consent, 

Blow such a madrigal 

May reach the firmament. 
Winds, hail, ice, snow, 
And pearly drops, 
That hang on crops, 
His wonders show. 

7. Pure element of fire 
With holy sparks inflame 

This sublunary choir, 

That all one concert frame, 
Their spirits raise, 
To trumpet forth 
Their Maker's worth, 
And sound His praise. 

8. Ye glorious lamps that roll 
In your celestial spheres 

All under His control, 

Who you on poles upbears, 
Him magnify, 
Ye planets bright, 
And fixed lights 
That deck the sky. 



9. O Heaven, Crystalline, 
Which by thy watery hue 

Dost temper and refine 
The rest in azured blue, 
His glory sound 
Thou first mobile 
Which makest all wheel 
In circle round. 

10. Ye glorious souls who reign 
In sempiternal joy, 

Free from those cares and pain 
Which here did you annoy, 
And Him behold 
In whom all bliss 
Concentred is, 
His laud unfold. 

1 1 . Blest maid which dost sur- 

mount 
All saints and seraphims, 
And reignest as paramount 
And chief of cherubim s, 
Chant out His praise 
Who in thy womb 
Nine months took room 
Though crowned with 
rays. 

1 2 . Oh let my soul and heart, 
My mind and memory 

Bear in this hymn a part, 

And join with earth and sky. 
Let every wight, 
The whole world o'er 
Laud and adore 
The Lord of light. 



124 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

All your friends here are well, Tom Young 
excepted, who I fear hath not long to live amongst 
us. — So I rest your true friend, J. H. 

York, the i of August 1628. 



XII 

T0 WilL Austin, Esq. 

1HAVE many thanks to give you for that ex- 
cellent poem you sent me upon the passion 
of Christ. Surely you were possessed with a very 
strong spirit when you penned it ; you were 
become a true enthusiast. For, let me despair if 
I lie unto you, all the while I was perusing it it 
committed holy rapes upon my soul. Methought 
I felt my heart melting within my breast, and my 
thoughts transported to a true elysium all the while, 
there were such flexanimous strong ravishing strains 
throughout it. To deal plainly with you, it were 
an injury to the public good not to expose to open 
light such divine raptures, for they have an edifying 
power in them, and may be termed the very quint- 
essence of devotion. You discover in them what 
rich talent you have, which should not be buried 
within the walls of a private study, or pass through 
a few particular hands, but appear in public view and 
to the sight of the world, to the enriching of oth- 
ers, as they did me in reading them. Therefore 
I shall long to see them pass from the Bankside to 
Paul's Churchyard, with other precious pieces of 



OF JAMES HOWELL 125 

yours which you have pleased to impart unto me. 
— Your most affectionate servitor, J. H. 

Oxford, 20 August 1628. 

XIII 
To Sir I. S. 9 Knight 

YOU wrote to me lately for a footman, and I 
think this bearer will suit you. I know he 
can run well, for he hath run away twice from me, 
but he knew the way back again ; yet though he 
hath a running head as well as running heels (and 
who will expect a footman to be a staid man ?) I 
would not part with him were I not to go post to 
the north. There be some things in him that 
answer for his waggeries. He will come when you 
call him, go when you bid him, and shut the door 
after him. He is faithful and stout, and a lover 
of his master. He is a great enemy to all dogs 
if they bark at him in his running, for I have seen 
him confront a huge mastiff and knock him down. 
When you go a country journey, or have him run 
with you a-hunting you must spirit him with liquor ; 
you must allow him also something extraordinary 
for socks, else you must not have him to wait at 
your table ; when his grease melts in running hard 
it is subject to fall into his toes. I send him you 
but for trial. If he be not for your turn, turn him 
over to me again when I come back. 

The best news I can send you at this time is that 



i26 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

we are like to have peace both with France and 
Spain, so that Harwich men, your neighbours, shall 
not hereafter need to fear the name of Spinola, who 
struck such an apprehension into them lately that 
I understand they begin to fortify. 

I pray present my most humble service to my 
good lady, and at my return from the North I will 
be bold to kiss her hands and yours. — So I am, 
your much obliged servitor, J. H. 

London, 25 of May 1628. 

XIV 

To my Father 

OUR two younger brothers, which you sent 
hither, are disposed of. My brother doctor 
hath placed the elder of the two with Mr Hawes, 
a mercer in Cheapside, and he took much pains 
in it, and I had placed my brother Ned with Mr 
Barrington, a silk-man in the same street, but 
afterwards, for some inconveniences, I removed 
him to one Mr Smith, at the Flower-de-Luce, in 
Lombard Street, a mercer also. Their masters are 
both of them very well to pass, and of good repute. 
I think it will prove some advantage to them here- 
after to be both of one trade, because when they 
are out of their time they may join stocks together. 
So that I hope, sir, they are as well placed as any 
two youths in London, but you must not use to 
send them such large tokens in money, for that 



OF JAMES HOWELL 127 

may corrupt them. When I went to bind my 
brother Ned apprentice in Drapers' Hall, casting 
my eyes upon the chimneypiece of the great room 
I spied a picture of an ancient gentleman, and 
underneath Thomas Howell. I asked the clerk 
about him, and he told me that he had been a 
Spanish merchant in Henry VIII's time, and 
coming home rich, and dying a bachelor, he gave 
that hall to the Company of Drapers, with other 
things, so that he is accounted one of their chief- 
est benefactors. I told the clerk that one of the 
sons of Thomas Howell came now hither to be 
bound. He answered that if he be a right Howell, 
he may have when he is free three hundred pounds 
to help to set up, and pay no interest for five 
years. It may be hereafter we may make use of 
this. He told me also that any maid that can prove 
her father to be a true Howell may come and de- 
mand fifty pounds towards her portion of the said 
hall. I am to go post towards York to-morrow to 
my charge, but hope, God willing, to be here again 
the next term. — So, with my love to my brother 
Howell, and my sister his wife, I rest your dutiful 
son, J. H. 

London, 30 September 1629. 



128 FAMILIAR LETTERS 



XV 

To my Brother, Dr Howell, at Jesus College, 
in Oxon 

BROTHER, I have sent you here enclosed 
warrants for four brace of bucks and a stag, 
the last Sir Arthur Manwaring procured of the 
King for you towards the keeping of your act. I 
have sent you also a warrant for a brace of bucks 
out of Waddon chase ; besides, you shall receive 
by this carrier a great wicker hamper with two 
geoules of sturgeon, six barrels of pickled oysters, 
three barrels of Bologna olives, with some other 
Spanish commodities. 

My Lord President of the north hath lately 
made me patron of a living hard by Henley, called 
Hambledon. It is worth five hundred pounds 
a year communibus annis, and the now incumbent, 
Dr Pilkington, is very aged, valetudinary, and 
corpulent. My lord by legal instrument hath trans- 
mitted the next advowson to me for satisfaction of 
some arrearages. Dr Dommlaw and two or three 
more have been with me about it, but I always 
intended to make the first proffer to you ; there- 
fore, I pray, think of it. A sum of money must 
be had, but you shall be at no trouble for that if 
you only will secure it (and desire one more who 
I know will do it for you), and it shall appear 
unto you that you have it upon far better terms 



OF JAMES HOWELL 129 

than any other. It is as finely situated as any rec- 
tory can be, for it is about the midway betwixt Ox- 
ford and London. It lies upon the Thames, and 
the glebeland house is very large and fair, and not 
dilapidated, so that considering all things it is as 
good as some bishoprics. I know His Majesty is 
gracious unto you, and you may well expect some 
preferment that way, but such livings as these are 
not to be had everywhere. I thank you for invit- 
ing me to your act. I will be with you next week, 
God willing, and hope to find my father there. — 
So, with my kind love to Dr Mansel, Mr Wat- 
kins, Mr Madocks, and Mr Napier at All Souls', 
I rest your loving brother, J. H. 

London, 20 June 1628. 

XVI 

To my Father, Mr Ben. Johnson 

FATHER BEN., Nullum fit magnum ingenium 
sine mixtura dementiae, there is no great wit 
without some mixture of madness, so saith the 
philosopher, nor was he a fool who answered, nee 
parvum, sine mixtura stultitiae, nor small wit without 
some allay of foolishness. Touching the first it is 
verified in you, for I find that you have been often- 
times mad. You were mad when you wrote your 
" Fox/' and madder when you wrote your 
" Alchemist ; " you were mad when you wrote 
" Catilin," and stark mad when you wrote 



t 3 o FAMILIAR LETTERS 

" Sejanus ; " but when you wrote your " Epi- 
grams " and the " Magnetic Lady " ypu were not 
so mad. Insomuch that I perceive there be 
degrees of madness in you. Excuse me that I am 
so free with you. The madness I mean is that 
divine fury, that heating and heightening spirit 
which Ovid speaks of. 

Est Deus in nobis agetante calescimus Mo : that 
true enthusiasm which transports and elevates the 
souls of poets above the middle region of vulgar 
conceptions, and makes them soar up to heaven 
to touch the stars with their laurelled heads, to 
walk in the Zodiac with Apollo himself, and com- 
mand Mercury upon their errand. 

I cannot yet light upon Doctor Davies' Welsh 
grammar. Before Christmas I am promised one. 
So desiring you to look better hereafter to your 
charcoal fire and chimney, which I am glad to be 
one that preserved it from burning ; this being the 
second time that Vulcan hath threatened you, it 
may be because you have spoken ill of his wife, 
and been too busy with his horns. — I rest your 
son, and contiguous neighbour, 

J. H. 

Westminster, 27 June 1629. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 131 

XVII 

To Sir Arthur Ingram, at his house in York 

I HAVE sent you herewith a hamper of melons, 
the best I could find in any of Tothillfield gar- 
dens, and with them my very humble service and 
thanks for all favours, and lately for inviting me 
to your new noble house at Temple Newsam 
when I return to Yorkshire. To this I may 
answer you as my Lord Coke was answered by a 
Norfolk countryman who had a suit depending in 
the King's Bench against some neighbours touch- 
ing a river that used to annoy him, and Sir Edward 
Coke asking how he called the river, he answered, 
" My Lord, I need not call her, for she is forward 
enough to come of herself." So I may say that 
you need not call me to any house of yours, for 
I am forward enough to come without calling. 

My Lord President is still indisposed at Dr 
Nappier's, yet he wrote to me lately that he hopes 
to be at the next sitting in York. — So with a ten- 
der of my most humble service to my noble good 
lady, I rest your much obliged servant, 

J.H. 

London, 25 July 1629. 



i 3 2 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

XVIII 
To R. S., Esq. 

I AM one of them who value not a courtesy 
that hangs long betwixt the fingers. I love not 
those viscosa beneficia, those bird-limed kindnesses 
which Pliny speaks of; nor would I receive money 
in a dirty clout, if possibly I could be without it. 
Therefore I return you the courtesy by the same 
hand that brought it. It might have pleasured me 
at first, but the expectation of it hath prejudiced 
me, and now perhaps you may have more need of 
it than your humble servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 3 August 1629. 

XIX 

To the Countess of Sunderland at York 

Madame, 

MY lord continues still in a courseof physic at 
Dr Nappier's. I wrote to him lately that 
his lordship would please to come to his own house 
here in St Martin's Lane, where there is a greater 
accommodation for the recovery of his health, Dr 
Mayern being on the one side, and the King's 
apothecary on the other ; but I fear there be some 
mountebanks that carry him away, and I hear he 
intends to remove to Wickham to one Atkinson, a 
mere quack-salver, that was once D. Lopez's man. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 133 

The little knight that useth to draw up his 
breeches with a shoeing-horn, I mean Sir Posthu- 
mus Hobby, flew high at him this Parliament, and 
would have inserted his name in the scroll of recu- 
sants that is shortly to be presented to the King, 
but I produced a certificate from Linford under the 
minister's hand, that he received the communion 
at Easter last, and so got his name out. Besides, 
the deputy-lieutenants of Buckinghamshire would 
have charged Biggin Farm with a light horse, but 
Sir William Allford and others joined with me to 
get it off. 

Sir Thomas Wentworth and Mr Wansford are 
grown great courtiers lately, and come from West- 
minster Hall to White Hall (Sir Jo. Saville, their 
countryman, having shown them the way with his 
white staff). The Lord Weston tampered with 
the one, and my Lord Cottington took pains with 
the other, to bring them about from their violence 
against the prerogative. And I am told the first 
of them is promised my lord's place at York in 
case his sickness continues. 

We are like to have peace with Spain and 
France ; and for Germany, they say the Swedes 
are like to strike into her, to try whether they may 
have better fortunes than the Danes. 

My Lady Scroop (my lord's mother) hath lain 
sick a good while, and is very weak. — So I rest, 
madame, your humble and dutiful servitor, 

J. H. 

Westminster, 5 August 1629. 



i 3 4 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

XX 

To Dr H. W. 

IT is a rule in friendship, " when distrust enters in 
at the fore gate love goes out at the postern." 
It is as true a rule that rj airopia ttJs iirKTrrj^s 
apXV dubitation is the beginning of all knowledge. 
I confess this is true in the first election and co- 
optation of a friend, to come to the true knowledge 
of him by queries and doubts ; but when there is 
a perfect contract made, confirmed by experience 
and a long tract of time, distrust then is mere 
poison to friendship. Therefore, if it be as I am 
told, I am unfit to be your friend, but your servant, 

JH. 
Westminster, 20 October 1629. 

XXI 

To Dr H. W. 

THEY say in Italy that deeds are men and 
words are but women. I have had your 
word often to give me a visit. I pray turn your 
female promises to masculine performances, else I 
shall think you have lost your being ; for you know 
it is a rule in law, idem est non esse, & non apparere. 
Your faithful servitor, 

j.h. 

Westminster, 25 September 1629. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 135 

To Mr B. Chaworth^ on my valentine^ Mistress Francis 
Metcalf (now Lady Robinson)^ at York 

A Sonnet 

Could I charm the Queen of Love 
To lend a quill of her white dove, 
Or one of Cupid's pointed wings, 
Dipt in the fair Castalian springs, 

Then would I write the all divine 

Perfections of my Valentine. 

As 'mongst all flowers the rose excels, 
As amber 'mongst the fragrantest smells, 
As 'mongst all minerals the gold, 
As marble 'mongst the finest mould, 
As diamonds 'mongst jewels bright, 
As Cynthia 'mongst the lesser lights, 

So 'mongst the northern beauties shine 

So far excels my Valentine. 

In Rome and Naples I did view 
Faces of celestial hue ; 
Venetian dames I have seen many 
(I only saw them, touched not any) ; 
Of Spanish beauties, Dutch and French, 
I have beheld the quintessence : 

Yet saw I none that could outshine 

Or parallel my Valentine. 

The Italians, they are coy and quaint, 

But they grossly daub and paint ; 

The Spanish, kind and apt to please, 

But savouring of the same disease ; 

Of Dutch and French, some few are comely, 

The French are light, the Dutch are homely ; 

Let Tagus, Po, the Loire and Rhine 

Then vail unto my Valentine. 



136 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Here may be seen pure white and red, 

Not by feigned art but nature wed, 

No simpering smiles, no mimic face, 

Affected gesture, or forced grace, 

A fair smooth front, free from least wrinkle, 

Her eyes (on me) like stars do twinkle; 

Thus allperfections do combine 

To beautify my Valentine. 



XXII 

To Mr Tho. M. 

NOBLE TOM, you desired me lately to com- 
pose some lines upon your mistress's black 
eyes, her becoming frowns, and upon her mask. 
Though the least request of yours be a command 
unto me, the execution of it a contentment, yet I 
was hardly drawn to such task at this time, in re- 
gard that many businesses puzzle my pericranium 
— " aliena negotia centum per caput & circa sali- 
ent latus." Yet lest your Cloririda might expect 
such a thing, and that you might incur the hazard 
of her smiles (for you say her frowns are favours), 
and that she may take off her mask unto you the 
next time you go to court her, I send you the en- 
closed verses sonnetwise, which haply may please 
her better in regard I hear she hath some skill in 
music. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 137 

Upon Black Eyes and Becoming Frowns 

A Sonnet 

Black eyes, in your dark orbs doth lie 

My ill or happy destiny, 

If with clear looks you me behold, 

You give me mines and mounts of gold ; 

If you dart forth disdainful rays, 

To your own dye you turn my days. 

Black eyes, in your dark orbs by changes dwell, 
My bane or bliss, my paradise or hell. 

That lamp which all the stars doth blind, 

Yields to your lustre in some kind, 

Though you do wear to make you bright 

No other dress but that of night. 

He glitters only in the day, 

You in the dark your beams display. 

Black eyes, in your two orbs by changes dwell, 
My bane or bliss, my paradise or hell. 

The cunning thief that lurks for prize, 

At some dark corner watching lies, 

So that heart-robbing God doth stand 

In your black lobbies, shaft in hand, 

To rifle me of what I hold 

More precious far than Indian Gold. 

Black eyes, in your dark orbs by changes dwell, 
My bane or bliss, my paradise or hell. 

O powerful Negromantic eyes, 

Who in your circles strictly pries, 

Will find that Cupid with his dart 

In you doth practise the black art, 

And by the enchantment I'm possessed, 

Tries his conclusions in thy breast. 

Black eyes, in your dark orbs by changes dwell, 
My bane or bliss, my paradise or hell. 



138 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Look on me, though in frowning wise, 
Some kind of frowns become black eyes, 
As pointed diamonds being set, 
Cast greater lustre out of Jet, 
Those pieces we esteem most rare, 
Which in night shadows postur'd are : 
Darkness in churches congregates the sight, 
Devotion strays in glaring light. 

Black eyes, in your dark orbs by changes dwell, 
My bane or bliss, my paradise or hell. 

Touching her mask I will not be long about it. 

Upon Clorinda' s Mask 
So have I seen the sun in his full pride 
O'ercast with sullen clouds, and lose his light 
So have I seen the brightest stars denied 
To show their lustre in some gloomy night, 
So Angels' pictures have I seen veil' d o'er, 
That more devoutly men should them adore; 
So with a mask saw I Clorinda hide 
Her face more bright than was the Lemnian Bride. 

Whether I have hit upon your fancy, or fitted 
your mistress I know not. I pray let me hear what 
success they have ; so wishing you your heart's 
desire, and if you have her, a happy confarreation, 
I rest in verse and prose, yours, 

j. h. 

Westminster, 29 of March 1629. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 139 



XXIII 

To the Right Honourable my Lady Scroop, 
Countess of Sunderland at Langar 

Madam, 

I AM newly returned from Hunsdon, from giv- 
ing the rites of burial to my lord's mother. 
She made my lord sole executor of all. I have all 
her plate and household stuff in my custody, and 
unless I had gone as I did, much had been embez- 
zled. I have sent herewith the copy of a letter the 
King wrote to my lord upon the resignation of his 
place, which is fitting to be preserved for posterity , 
amongst the records of Bolton Castle. His Maj- 
esty expresseth therein that he was never better 
served nor with more exactness of fidelity and jus- 
tice by any, therefore he intends to set a special 
mark of his favour upon him, when his health 
will serve him to come to Court. My Lord Carle- 
ton delivered it me, and told me he never remem- 
bered that the King wrote a more gracious letter. 
I have lately bought in fee-farm, Wanlesse Park, 
off the King's Commissioners for my lord. I got 
it for six hundred pounds, doubling the old rent, 
and the next day I was offered five hundred 
pounds for the bargain. There were divers that 
put in for it, and my Lord of Anglesey thought 
himself sure of it, but I found means to frustrate 
them all. I also compounded with Her Majesty's 



i 4 o FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Commissioners for respite of homage for Rabbi 
Castle. There was £110 demanded, but I came 
off for 40s. My Lord Wentworth is made Lord 
Deputy of Ireland, and carries a mighty stroke at 
Court. There have been some clashings betwixt 
him and my Lord of Pembroke lately, with others 
at Court, and divers in the north, and some, as Sir 
David Fowler, with others, have been crushed. 

He pleased to give me the disposing of the next 
attorney's place in York, and John Lister being 
lately dead, I went to make use of the favour, and 
was offered three hundred pounds for it, but some 
got betwixt me and home, so that I was forced to 
go away contented with one hundred pieces Mr 
Ratcliff delivered me in his chamber at Gray's Inn, 
and so to part with the legal instrument I had, 
which I did rather than contest. 

The duchess your niece is well. I did what your 
ladyship commanded me at York House. — So 
I rest, madam, your ladyship's ready and faithful 
servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, this 1 of July 1629. 

XXIV 

To D. C, Esq., at his house in Essex 

My D. D., 

1 THANK you for your last society in Lon- 
don, but I am sorry to have found Jack T. in 
that pickle, and that he had so far transgressed 



OF JAMES HOWELL 141 

the Fannian law, which allows a chirping cup to 
satiate, not to surfeit, to mirth, not to madness, 
and upon some extraordinary occasion of some ren- 
counters, to give nature a fillip but not a knock, 
as Jack did. I am afraid he hath taken such a 
habit of it that nothing but death will mend him, 
and I find that he is posting thither apace by this 
course. I have read of a King of Navarre (Charles 
le Mauvais) who perished in strong waters, and of 
a Duke of Clarence that was drowned in a butt of 
Malmesey, but Jack T., I fear, will die in a butt 
of Canary. Howsoever, commend me unto him, 
and desire him to have a care of the main chance. 
— So I rest yours, J. H. 

York, 5 July 1629. 

XXV 

To Sir Thomas Lake, Knight 

I HAVE shown Sir Kenelme Digby both our 
translations of MartialPs " Vitam quae faciunt 
beatiorem," etc., and to tell you true he adjudged 
yours the better, so I shall pay the wager in the 
place appointed, and try whether I can recover 
myself at gioco d y amore^ which the Italian saith is 
a play to cosen the devil. If your pulse beat 
accordingly, I will wait upon you on the river to- 
wards the evening, for a floundering fit to get some 
fish for our supper. — So I rest, your true servitor, 
3 July 1629. J. H. 



H2 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

XXVI 
To Mr Ben. yohnson 

Father Ben., 

YOU desired me lately to procure you Dr 
Davies' Welsh Grammar to add to those 
many you have. I have lighted upon one at last, 
and I am glad I have it in so seasonable a time 
that it may serve for a New Year's gift, in which 
quality I send it you ; and because it was not you, 
but your muse, that desired it of me, for your 
letter runs on feet, I thought it a good correspond- 
ence with you to accompany it with what fol- 
lows: 

Upon Dr Davies* British Grammar 

'Twas a tough task, believe it, thus to tame 
A wild and wealthy language, and to frame 
Grammatic toils to curb her, so that she 
Now speaks by rules, and sings by prosody ; 
Such is the strength of art rough things to shape, 
And of rude commons rich enclosures make. 
Doubtless much oil and labour went to couch 
Into methodic rules the rugged Dutch ; 
The Rabbies pass my reach, but judge I can 
Something of Clenard and Quintilian ; 
Italian. And for those modern dames I find they three 
Spanish. Are only lops cut from the Latian tree, 
French. And easy 'twas to square them into parts, 
The tree itself so blossoming with arts. 
I have been shown for Irish and Bascuence 
Imperfect rules couched in an accidence : 



OF JAMES HOWELL 143 

But I find none of these can take the start 
Of Davies, or that prove more men of art, 
Who in exacter method and short way, 
The idioms of a language do display. 

This is the tongue the bards sung in of old, 
And Druids their dark knowledge did unfold. 
Merlin in this his prophecies did vent 
Which through the world of fame bear such extent. 
This spoke that son of Mars, and Britain bold 
Arthur. Who first amongst Christian worthies is enrolled. 
This Brennus, who, to his desire and glut, 
The mistress of the world did prostitute. 
This Arviragus and brave Catarac 
Sole free, when all the world was on Rome's rack, 
This Lucius who on angel's wings did soar 
To Rome, and would wear diadem no more ; 
And thousand heroes more which should I tell 
This new year scarce would serve me, so farewell. 

— Your son and servitor, J. H. 

Cal., April 1629. 

XXVII 

To the Right Honourable the ILarl of Bristol at 
Sherburn Castle 

My Lord, 

1 ATTENDED my Lord Cottington before he 
went on his journey towards Spain, and put 
him in mind of the old business against the Viceroy 
of Sardinia, to see whether any good can be done, 
and to learn whether the conde or his son be solv- 
ent. He is to land at Lisbon ; one of the King's 



i 4 4 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

ships attends him, and some merchantmen take the 
advantage of this convoy. 

The news that keeps greatest noise how is that 
the Emperor hath made a favourable peace with the 
Dane, for Tilly had crossed the Elbe and entered 
deep into Holstein Land, and in all probability 
might have carried all before him, yet that king had 
honourable terms given him and a peace is con- 
cluded (though without the privity of England). 
But I believe the King of Denmark fared the bet- 
ter, because he is grandchild to Charles the Em- 
peror's sister. Now it seems another spirit is like 
to fall upon the Emperor, for they write that Gus- 
tavus, King of Swethland, is struck into Germany 
and hath taken Mecklenburg. The ground of his 
quarrel, as I hear, is that the Emperor would not 
acknowledge, much less give audience to, his am- 
bassadors. He also gives out to come for the 
assistance of his allies the dukes of Pomerland and 
Mecklenburg, nor do I hear that he speaks any- 
thing yet of the Prince Palsgrave's business. 

Don Carlos Caloma is expected here from 
Flanders about the same time that my Lord 
Cottington shall be arrived at the Court of Spain. 
God send us an honourable peace, for as the 
Spaniard says, Nunc a vi tan rnalapaz, que ne fuesse 
mejor, que la mejor guerra. — Your lordship's most 
humble and ready servant, J. H. 

London, 20 May 1629. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 145 

XXVIII 

To my Cousin i". P., at Mr Conradus 

Cousin, 

A LETTER of yours was lately delivered me. 
I made a shift to read the superscription, 
but within I wondered what language it might be 
in which it was written. At first I thought it was 
Hebrew or some of her dialects, and so went from 
the liver to the heart, from the right hand to the 
left to read it, but could make nothing of it. Then 
I thought it might be the Chinese language, and 
went to read the words perpendicular ; and the 
lines were so crooked and distorted that no cohe- 
rence could be made. Greek I perceived it was 
not, nor Latin or English. So I gave it for mere 
gibberish and your characters to be rather hiero- 
glyphics than letters. The best is you keep your 
lines at a good distance, like those in Chancery 
bills, who, as a clerk said, were made so wide of 
purpose, because the clients should have room 
enough to walk between them without jostling one 
another ; yet this wideness had been excusable if 
your lines had been straight, but they were full of 
odd kind of undulations and windings. If you can 
write no otherwise one may read your thoughts 
as soon as your characters. It is some excuse for 
you that you are but a young beginner. I pray let 
it appear in your next what a proficient you are, 
otherwise some blame may light on me that placed 



146 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

you there. Let me receive no more gibberish or 
hieroglyphics from you, but legible letters, that I 
may acquaint your friends accordingly of your 
good proceedings. — So I rest your very loving 
cousin, J. H. 

Westminster, 20 September 1629. 

XXIX 

To the Lord Viscount Wentworth, Lord Presi- 
dent of Tork 

My Lord, 

MY last was of the first current, since which I 
received one from your lordship, and your 
commands therein, which I shall ever entertain 
with a great deal of cheerfulness. The greatest 
news from abroad is that the French King with his 
cardinal are come again on this side the hills, hav- 
ing done his business in Italy and Savoy, and re- 
served still Pignerol in his hands, which will serve 
him as a key to enter Italy at pleasure. Upon the 
highest mountain amongst the Alps he left this 
ostentatious inscription upon a great marble pil- 
lar— 

A la memoire eternelle de Louis tre|iziesme, 

Roy de France et de Navarre, 
Tres-Auguste, tres-victorieux, tres-heureux, 

Conquerant, tres-juste ; 
Lequel apres avoir vaincu toutes les Nations 

de 1' Europe, 



OF JAMES HOWELL 147 

II a encore triomphe les Elements 

Du ciel et de la terre, 
Ayant passe deux fois ces Monts au mois 

de Mars avec son Armee, 
Victorieuse, pour remmettre les Princes 

d'ltalie en leurs estats, 
Defendre et proteger ses Alliez. 

To the eternal memory of Lewis the Thirteenth, 
King of France and Navarre, most gracious, most 
victorious, most happy, most just, a conqueror ; 
who having overcome all nations of Europe, he 
hath also triumphed over the elements of heaven 
and earth, having twice passed over these hills in 
the month of March with his victorious army, to 
restore the princes of Italy to their estates, and to 
defend and protect his allies. — So I take my leave 
for the present, and rest your lordship's most 
humble and ready servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 5 August 1629. 

XXX 

To Sir Kenelme Digby, Knight 

GIVE me leave to congratulate your happy 
return from the Levant, and the great hon- 
our you have acquired by your gallant comport- 
ment in Algiers in re-escating so many English 
slaves ; by bearing up so bravely against the Vene- 
tian fleet in the bay of Scanderoon ; and making 
the Pantaloni to know themselves and you better. 
I do not remember to have read or heard that 



148 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

those huge galleasses of Saint Mark were beaten 
before. I give you the joy also that you have 
borne up against the Venetian ambassador here, 
and vindicated yourself of those foul scandals he 
had cast upon you in your absence. Whereas you 
desire me to join with my Lord Cottingham and 
others to make affidavit touching Bartholomew 
Spinola, whether he be Vezino de Madrid, viz. 
free denison of Spain, I am ready to serve you 
herein, or to do any other office that may right 
you, and tend to the making of your prize good. 
Yet I am very sorry that our Alleppo merchants 
suffered so much. 

I shall be shortly in London, and I will make 
the greater speed, because I may serve you. So 
I humbly kiss my noble lady's hand, and rest your 
thrice assured servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 25 November 1629. 

XXXI 

To the Right Honourable Sir Peter Wicht, 
Ambassador at Constantinople 

MASTER SIMON DIGBY delivered me 
one from your lordship of the first of 
June; and I was extremely glad to have it, for I 
had received nothing from your lordship a twelve- 
month before. Mr Comptroller Sir Tho. Edmonds 
is lately returned from France, having renewed the 
peace which was made up to his hands before by 






OF JAMES HOWELL 149 

the Venetian ambassadors, who had much laboured 
in it, and had concluded all things beyond the Alps 
when the King of France was at Susa to relieve 
Casal. The monsieur that was to fetch him from 
Saint Denis to Paris put a kind of jeering com- 
pliment upon him, viz. that his excellency should 
not think it strange that he had so few French 
gentlemen to attend in this service, to accompany 
him to the court, in regard there were so many 
killed at the Isle of Rhee. The Marquis of 
Chasteau Neuf is here from France, and it was 
an odd speech also from him reflecting upon Mr 
Comptroller, that the King of Great Britain used 
to send for his ambassadors from abroad to pluck 
capons at home. 

Mr Burlimach is to go shortly to Paris to re- 
cover the other moiety of Her Majesty's portion; 
whereof they say my Lord of Holland is to have 
a good share. The Lord Treasurer Weston is he 
who hath the greatest vogue now at court, but 
many great ones have clashed with him. He is 
so potent that I hear his eldest son is to marry 
one of the blood royal of Scotland, the Duke of 
Lennox's sister, and that with His Majesty's con- 
sent. 

Bishop Laud of London is also powerful in his 
way, for he sits at the helm of the church, and 
doth more than any of the two archbishops, or 
all the rest of his two-and-twenty brethren besides. 

In your next I should be glad your lordship 
would do me the favour as to write how the grand 



i 5 o FAMILIAR LETTERS 

signior is like to speed before Bagdad in this his 
Persian expedition. 

No more now, but that I always rest your 
lordship's ready and most faithful servitor, 

J.H. 

Westminster, i January 1629. 



XXXII 

To my Father 

SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH hath been 
a good while Lord-President of York, and 
since is sworn Privy Councillor, and made baron 
and viscount ; the Duke of Buckingham himself 
flew not so high in so short a revolution of time. 
He was made viscount with a great deal of high 
ceremony upon a Sunday in the afternoon at 
Whitehall. My Lord Powis (who affects him not 
much) being told that the heralds had fetched his 
pedigree from the blood royal, viz., from John of 
Gaunt, said, " Damme, if ever he come to be 
King of England, I will turn rebel. " When I 
went first to give him joy he pleased to give me 
the disposing of the next attorney's place that falls 
void in York, which is valued at three hundred 
pounds. I have no reason to leave my Lord of 
Sunderland, for I hope he will be noble unto me ; 
the perquisites of my place, taking the King's fee 
away, came far short of what he promised me at 
my first coming to him, in regard of his non- 



OF JAMES HOWELL 151 

residence at York, therefore I hope he will con- 
sider it some other way. This languishing sickness 
still hangs on him, and I fear will make an end 
of him. There 's none can tell what to make of it, 
but he voided lately a strange worm at Wickham ? 
But I fear there 's an imposthume growing in him, 
for he told me a passage, how many years ago my 
Lord Willoughby and he, with so many of their 
servants {de gayete de cceur) played a match at 
football against such a number of countrymen, 
where my Lord of Sunderland, being busy about 
the ball, got a bruise in the breast which put him 
in a .swoon for the present, but did not trouble 
him till three months after, when being at Bever 
Castle (his brother-in-law's house) a qualm took 
him on a sudden, which made him retire to his 
bedchamber. My Lord of Rutland following 
him, put a pipe full of tobacco in his mouth, and 
he, being not accustomed to tobacco, taking the 
smoke downwards, fell a-casting and vomiting up 
divers little imposthumated bladders of congealed 
blood which saved his life then, and brought him 
to have a better conceit of tobacco ever after, and 
I fear there is some of that clotted blood still in 
his body. 

Because Mr Hawes of Cheapside is lately dead 
I have removed my brother Griffith to the Hen 
and Chickens in Paternoster Row to Mr Taylor's, 
as genteel a shop as any in the city, but I gave a 
piece of plate of twenty nobles price to his wife. 
I wish the Yorkshire horse may be fit for your 



152 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

turn. He was accounted the best saddle gelding 
about York when I bought him of Captain Philips 
the muster-master. And when he carried me first 
to London there was twenty pounds offered for 
him by my Lady Carlisle. No more now, but de- 
siring a continuance of your blessing and prayers 
I rest, your dutiful son, J. H. 

London, 3 December 1630. 



XXXIII 

To the Lord Cottington, Ambassador- Extraor- 
dinary for His Majesty of Great Britain in 
the Court of Spain 

My Lord, 

I RECEIVED your lordship's lately by Harry 
Davies the Correo Santo, and I return my 
humble thanks, that you were pleased to be 
mindful (amongst so many high negotiations) of 
the old business touching the Viceroy of Sardinia. 
I have acquainted my Lord of Bristol accordingly. 
Our eyes here look very greedily after your lord- 
ship and the success of your embassy, and we are 
glad to hear the business is brought to so good a 
pass, and that the capitulations are so honourable 
(the high effects of your wisdom). 

For news, the Swedes do notable feats in Ger- 
many, and we hope their cutting the Emperor and 
Bavarian so much work to do, and the good offices 



OF JAMES HOWELL 153 

we are to expect from Spain upon this redintegra- 
tion of peace will be an advantage to the Prince 
Palatin, and facilitate matters for restoring him to 
his country. 

There is little news at our court, but that there 
fell an ill-favoured quarrel 'twixt Sir Kenelme 
Digby and Mr Goring, Mr Jermin and others 
at St James* lately about Mrs Baker the maid of 
honour, and duels were like to grow of it, but that 
the business was taken up by the lord treasurer, 
my Lord of Dorset, and others appointed by the 
King. My Lord of Sunderland is still ill disposed; 
he willed me to remember his hearty service to 
your lordship, and so did Sir Arthur Ingram, and 
my lady ; they all wish you a happy and honour- 
able return, as doth your lordship's most humble 
and ready servitor, J. H. 

London, 1 March 1630. 

XXXIV 

To my Lord Viscount Rocksavage 

My Lord, 

SOME say, the Italian loves no favour, but 
what 's future; though I have conversed much 
with that nation, yet I am nothing infected with 
their humour in this point : for I love favours 
passed as well, the remembrance of them joys my 
very heart, and makes it melt within me ; when 
my thoughts reflect upon your lordship I have 



154 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

many of these fits of joy within me, by the pleas- 
ing speculation of so many most noble favours 
and respects which I shall daily study to improve 
and merit. My lord, your lordship's most humble 
and ready servitor, 

J. H. 
Westminster, 22 March 1630. 



XXXV 

Ti? the Earl of Bristol 

My Lord, 

I DOUBT not but your lordship hath had in- 
telligence from time to time what firm invasions 
the King of Swedes hath made into Germany, and 
by what degrees he hath mounted to this height, 
having but six thousand foot and five hundred 
horse when he entered first to Mecklenburg, and 
taken that town while commissioners stood treat- 
ing on both sides in his tent; how thereby his 
army much increased, and so rushed further into 
the heart of the country, but passing near Mag- 
denburg, being diffident of his own strength, he 
suffered Tilly to take that great town with so much 
effusion of blood, because they would receive no 
quarter ; your lordship hath also heard of the 
battle of Leipzic, where Tilly, notwithstanding 
the victory he had got over the Duke of Saxony 
a few days before, received an utter discomfiture, 
upon which victory the King sent Sir Thomas Roe 



OF JAMES HOWELL 155 

a present of two thousand pounds and in his letter 
calls him his strenuum consultorem, he being one 
of the first who had advised him to this German 
war after he had made peace betwixt him and the 
Polander. I presume also your lordship heard how 
he met Tilly again near Ausburg, and made him 
go upon a wooden leg whereof he died, and after 
soundly plundered the Bavarian, and made him 
flee from his own house at Munchen, and rifled 
his very closets. 

Now your lordship shall understand, that the 
said king is at Mentz, and keeps a court there like 
an emperor, there being above twelve ambassadors 
with him. The King of France sent a great mar- 
quis for his ambassador to put him in mind of his 
articles, and to tell him that His Christian Majesty 
wondered he would cross the Rhine without his 
privity, and wondered more that he would invade 
the Churchlands, meaning the Archbishop of 
Mentz, who had put himself under the protection 
of France. The Swede answered that he had not 
broke the least tittle of the articles agreed on, and 
touching the said archbishop he had not stood 
neutral as was promised, therefore he had justly 
set on his skirts. The ambassador replied, in case 
of breach of articles, his master had eighty thou- 
sand men to pierce Germany when he pleased. 
The King answered, that he had but twenty thou- 
sand, and those should be sooner at the walls of 
Paris than his fourscore thousand should be on the 
frontiers of Germany. If this new conqueror goes 



156 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

on with this violence, I believe it will cast the 
policy of all Christendom into another mould, and 
beget new maxims of State, for none can foretell 
where his monstrous progress will terminate. Sir 
Henry Vane is still in Germany observing his mo- 
tions, and they write that they do not agree well, 
as I heard the King should tell him that he spoke 
nothing but Spanish to him. Sir Robert Anstruther 
is also at Vienna, being gone thither from the diet 
at Ratisbon. 

I hear the infant cardinal is designed to become 
Governor of the Netherlands, and passeth by way 
of Italy, and so through Germany : his brother 
Don Carlos is lately dead. — So I humbly take 
my leave and rest, my lord, your lordship's most 
humble and ready servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 23 April 1630. 



XXXVI 

"To my noble lady, the Lady Cor. 

Madame, 

OU spoke to me for a cook who had seen 



Y 



the world abroad, and I think the bearer 
hereof will fit your ladyship's turn. He can mari- 
nate fish, make jellies, he is excellent for a piquant 
sauce, and the haugou. Besides, madam, he is 
passing good for an olla. He will tell your lady- 
ship that the reverend matron the olla-podrida hath 
intellectuals and senses. Mutton, beef, and bacon 



OF JAMES HOWELL 157 

are to her as the will, understanding, and memory 
are to the soul. Cabbage, turnips, artichokes, po- 
tatoes and dates are her five senses, and pepper 
the common sense. She must have marrow to keep 
life in her, and some birds to make her light. By 
all means she must go adorned with chains of 
sausages. He is also good at larding of meat after 
the mode of France. Madame, you may make 
proof of him, and if your ladyship find him too 
saucy or wasteful you may return him whence you 
had him. — So I rest, madam, your ladyship's 
most humble servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 2 June 1630. 

XXXVII 
To Mr £. D. 

YOU write to me that T. B. intends to give 
money for such a place. If he doth, I fear 
it will be verified in him that a fool and his money 
is soon parted, for I know he will be never able to 
execute it. I heard of a late Secretary of State that 
could not read the next morning his own hand- 
writing, and I have read of Caligula's horse that 
was made consul, therefore I pray tell him from 
me (for I wish him well) that if he thinks he is fit 
for that office he looks upon himself through a false 
glass. A trotting horse is fit for a coach but not 
for a lady's saddle, and an ambler is proper for a 
lady's saddle but not for a coach. If Tom under- 



158 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

takes this place he will be as an ambler in a coach, 
or a trotter under a lady's saddle. When I come 
to town I will put him upon a far fitter and more 
feasible business for him, and so commend me to 
him, for I am his and your true friend, 

j. h. 

Westminster, 5 June 1630. 



XXXVIII 

To my Father 

THERE are two ambassadors-extraordinary to 
go abroad shortly, the Earl of Leicester and 
the Lord Weston. This latter goes to France, 
Savoy, Venice, and so returns by Florence, a pleas- 
ant journey, for he carries presents with him from 
King and Queen. The Earl of Leicester is to go to 
the King of Denmark and other princes of Ger- 
many. The main of the embassy is to condole the 
late death of the Lady Sophia Queen Dowager of 
Denmark, our King's grandmother. She was the 
Duke of Mecklenburg's daughter, and her hus- 
band, Christian the Third, dying young, her por- 
tion, which was forty thousand pounds, was restored 
her, and living a widow forty-four years after, she 
grew to be so great a housewife, setting three or 
four hundred people at work, that she died worth 
near two millions of dollars, so that she was reputed 
the richest queen of Christendom. By the consti- 



OF JAMES HOWELL 159 

tutions of Denmark this estate is divisible amongst 
her children, whereof she had five, the King of 
Denmark, the Duchess of Saxony, the Duchess 
of Brunswick, Queen Anne, and the Duchess of 
Holstein. The King being male is to have two 
shares, our King and the Lady Elizabeth are to have 
that which should have belonged to Queen Anne ; 
so he is to return by the Hague. It pleased my 
Lord of Leicester to send for me to Baynard's 
Castle, and proffer me to go secretary in this em- 
bassy, assuring me that the journey shall tend to 
my profit and credit. So I have accepted of it, for 
I hear very nobly of my lord, so that I hope to 
make a boon voyage of it. I desire, as hitherto, 
your prayers and blessing may accompany me. 
So, with my love to my brothers and sisters, I 
rest, your dutiful son, 

J.H. 
London, 5 May 1632. 



XXXIX 

To Mr Alderman Moulson, Governor of the 
Merchant Adventurers 

THE Earl of Leicester is to go shortly ambas- 
sador-extraordinary to the King of Denmark, 
and he is to pass by Hamburg. I understand by 
Mr Skinner that the staple hath some grievances 
to be redressed. If this embassy may be an advan- 



160 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

tage to the company I will solicit my lord that he 
may do you all the favour that may stand with his 
honour. So I shall expect your instructions accord- 
ingly, and rest, yours ready to serve you, 

J.H. 
Westminster, i June 1632. 



XL 

To Mr Alderman Clethro, Governor of the 
Eastland Company 

I AM informed of some complaints that your 
Company hath against the King of Denmark's 
officers in the Sound. The Earl of Leicester is 
nominated by His Majesty to go ambassador ex- 
traordinary to that king and other princes of Ger- 
many. If this embassy may be advantageous unto 
you, you may send me your directions and I will 
attend my lord accordingly, to do you any favour 
that may stand with his honour and conduce to 
your benefit and redress of grievances. So I take 
my leave, and rest, yours ready to do you service, 

J.H. 
Westminster, 1 of June 1632. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 161 



XLI 

To the Right Honourable the Earl of Leicester 
at Pettworth 

My Lord, 

SIR JOHN PENNINGTON is appointed 
to carry your lordship and your company 
to Germany, and he intends to take you up at 
Margate. I have been with Mr Burlamach, and 
received a bill of exchange from him for 10,000 
dollars, payable in Hamburg. I have also received 
^2000 of Sir Paul Pinder for your lordship's use ; 
and he did me the favour to pay it me all in old 
gold. Your allowance hath begun since the 25th 
of July last at ^8 per diem, and is to continue so 
till your lordship return to His Majesty. I under- 
stand by some merchants to-day upon the exchange 
that the King of Denmark is at Luckstadt, and 
stays there all this summer ; if it be so, it will save 
half the voyage of going to Copenhagen, for in lieu 
of the Sound, we need go no further than the river 
of Elbe. — So I rest your lordship's most humble 
and faithful servitor, 

J. H. 
Westminster, 13 August 163a. 



162 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

XLII 

To the Right Honourable the .Lord Mohun 

My Lord, 

THOUGH any command from your lordship 
be welcome to me at all times, yet that which 
you lately enjoined me in yours of the 12th of 
August, that I should inform your lordship of 
what I know touching the Inquisition is now a 
little unseasonable, because I have much to do to 
prepare myself for this employment to Germany, 
therefore I cannot satisfy you in that fulness as I 
could do otherwise. The very name of the Inqui- 
sition is terrible all Christendom over, and the 
King of Spain himself with the chiefest of his 
grandees tremble at it. It was founded first by 
the Catholic King, Ferdinand (our Henry the 
Eighth's father-in-law), for he having got Granada 
and subdued all the Moors, who had had firm 
footing in that kingdom about 700 years, yet he 
suffered them to live peaceably a while in point 
of conscience; but afterwards he sent a solemn 
mandamus to the Jacobin friars to endeavour the 
conversion of them by preaching and all other 
means. They finding that their pains did little 
good (and that those whom they had converted 
turned apostates), obtained power to make a re- 
search, which afterwards was called Inquisition ; 
and it was ratified by Pope Sixtus that if they 



OF JAMES HOWELL 163 

would not conform themselves by fair means, 
they should be forced to it. The Jacobins being 
found too severe herein, and for other abuses be- 
sides, this Inquisition was taken from them and 
put into the hands of the most sufficient ecclesias- 
tics. So a council was established and officers 
appointed accordingly. Whosoever was found pen- 
dulous and brangling in his religion was brought 
by a sergeant called Familiar before the said Coun- 
cil of Inquisition. His accuser or delator stands 
behind a piece of tapestry to see whether he be 
the party, and if he be, then they put divers 
subtile and entrapping interrogatories unto him, 
and whether he confesses anything or no, he is 
sent to prison. When the said Familiar goes to 
any house, though it be in the dead of the night 
(and that 's the time commonly they use to come, 
or in the dawn of the day), all doors and trunks 
and chests fly open to him, and the first thing he 
doth he seizeth the party's breeches, searcheth his 
pockets, and takes his keys, and so rummageth 
all his closets and trunks ; and a public notary 
whom he carrieth with him takes an inventory 
of everything, which is sequestrated and deposited 
in the hands of some of his next neighbours. The 
party being hurried away in a close coach and 
clapped in prison, he is there eight days before 
he makes his appearance, and then they present 
unto him the cross and the missal-book to swear 
upon ; if he refuseth to swear, he convicteth him- 
self, and though he swear, yet he is remanded to 



1 64 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

prison. This oath commonly is presented before 
any accusation be produced. His gaoler is strictly 
commanded to pry into his actions, his deportment, 
words, and countenance, and to set spies upon him, 
and whosoever of his fellow prisoners or others 
can produce anything against him, he hath a re- 
ward for it. At last, after divers appearances, ex- 
aminations, and scrutinies, the information against 
him is read, but the witnesses' names are concealed, 
then is he appointed a proctor and an advocate, 
but he must not confer or advise with them pri- 
vately, but in the face of the court. The King's 
attorney is a party in it, and the accusers com- 
monly the sole witnesses. Being to name his own 
lawyers oftentimes others are discovered and fall 
into trouble ; while he is thus in prison, he is so 
abhorred and abandoned of all the world that 
none will, at least none dare, visit him. Though 
one clear himself, yet he cannot be freed till an 
Act of Faith pass, which is done seldom, but very 
solemnly. There are few who, having fallen into 
the gripes of the Inquisition, do escape the rack ; 
or the sanbenito, which is a straight yellow coat 
without sleeves, having the portrait of the devil 
painted up and down in black, and upon their 
heads they carry a mitre of paper, with a man 
frying in the flames of hell upon it, they gag their 
mouths, and tie a great cord about their necks. 
The judges meet in some uncouth dark dungeon, 
and the executioner stands by, clad in a close dark 
garment, his head and face covered with a chaperon, 



OF JAMES HOWELL 165 

out of which there are but two holes to look 
through, and a huge link burning in his hand. 
When the ecclesiastic inquisitors have pronounced 
the anathema against him, they transmit him to 
the secular judges to receive the sentence of death, 
for churchmen must not have their hands imbrued 
in blood ; the King can mitigate any punishment 
under death, nor is a nobleman subject to the 
rack. 

I pray be pleased to pardon this rambling im- 
perfect relation, and take in good part my con- 
formity to your commands, for I am your lord- 
ship's most ready and faithful servitor, 

J.H. 

Westminster, 30 August 1632. 



EPISTOLiE HO-ELIANiE 
SECTION VI 



SECTION VI 



To P. W. y Esq., at the Signet Office ; from the 
English House in Hamburg 

WE are safely come to Germany. Sir John 
Penington took us aboard in one of His 
Majesty's ships at Margate; and the wind stood 
so fair that we were at the mouth of the Elbe upon 
Monday following. It pleased my lord I should 
land first with two footmen, to make haste to 
Gliickstadt, to learn where the King of Denmark 
was, and he was at Rendsburg, some two days' 
journey off, at a Reichstag, an assembly that cor- 
responds to our Parliament. My lord the next 
day landed at Gliickstadt, where I had provided 
an accommodation for him, though he intended to 
have gone for Hamburg; but I was bold to tell 
him, that in regard there were some umbrages, and 
not only so, but open and actual differences be- 
twixt the King and that town, it might be ill taken 
if he went thither first before he had attended the 
King. So I left my lord at Gliickstadt, and being 
come hither to take up 8000 rich dollars upon Mr 
Burlamach's bills, and fetch Mr Avery our agent 
here, I return to-morrow to attend my lord again. 
I find that matters are much off the hinges be- 
twixt the King of Denmark and this town. 



170 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

The King of Sweden is advancing apace to find 
out Wallestein and Wallestein him^ and in all 
appearance they will be shortly engaged. 

No more now, for I am interpelled by many 
businesses. When you write, deliver your letters 
to Mr Railton, who will see them safely conveyed, 
for a little before my departure I brought him 
acquainted with my lord, that he might negotiate 
some things at court. — So with my service, and 
love to all at Westminster, I rest your faithful 
servitor, 

J.H. 

Hamburg, October 23, 1632. 



II 

To my Lord Viscount S. ; from Hamburg 

SINCE I was last in town, my Lord of Leices- 
ter hath attended the King of Denmark at 
Rendsburg in Holsteinland. He was brought 
thither from Gliickstadt in indifferent good equi- 
page, both for coaches and waggons ; but he stayed 
some days at Rendsburg for audience. We made 
a comely gallant show in that kind when we went 
to court, for we were near upon a hundred, all of 
one piece in mourning. It pleased my lord to make 
me the orator, and so I made a long Latin speech, 
alta voce, to the King in Latin, of the occasion of 
this embassy, and tending to the praise of the 
deceased queen. And I had better luck than Sec- 



OF JAMES HOWELL 171 

retary Nanton had some thirty years since with 
Roger, Earl of Rutland ; for at the beginning of 
his speech, when he had pronounced Serenissime 
Rex, he was dashed out of countenance, and so 
gravelled that he could go no further. I made 
another to Christian the Fifth, his eldest son, king 
elect of Denmark. For though that crown be 
purely elective, yet for these three last kings, they 
wrought so with the people, that they got their 
eldest sons chosen and declared before their death 
and to assume the title of kings elect. At the same 
audience I made another speech to Prince Fred- 
erick, Archbishop of Breme, the King's third son, 
and he hath but one more (besides his natural 
issue), which is Prince Ulric, now in the wars with 
the Duke of Saxe. And they say there is an alli- 
ance contracted already betwixt Christian the Fifth 
and the Duke of Saxe's daughter. This ceremony 
being performed, my lord desired to find his own 
diet, and then he fell to divers businesses, which 
is not fitting for me to forestall or impart unto 
your lordship now, so we stayed there near upon 
a month. The King feasted my lord once, and it 
lasted from eleven of the clock till towards the 
evening, during which time the King began thirty- 
five healths : the first to the Emperor, the second 
to his nephew of England, and so went over all 
the kings and queens of Christendom, but he never 
remembered the Prince Palsgrave's health or his 
niece's all the while. The King was taken away 
at last in his chair, but my Lord of Leicester bore 



i 7 2 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

up stoutly all the while, so that when there came 
two of the King's Guard to take him by the arms 
as he was going down the stairs, my lord shook 
them off and went alone. 

The next morning I went to court for some 
despatches, but the King was gone a-hunting at 
break of day ; but going to some other of his 
officers, their servants told me, without any ap- 
pearance of shame, that their masters were drunk 
overnight, and so it would be late before they 
would rise. 

A few days after we went to Gothorp Castle in 
Sleswickland to the Duke of Holstein's court, 
where, at my lord's first audience, I made another 
Latin speech to the duke touching his grand- 
mother's death. Our entertainment there was brave 
(though a little fulsome). My lord was lodged in 
the duke's castle, and parted with presents, which 
is more than the King of Denmark did. Thence 
we went to Husum in Ditzmarsh, to the Duchess 
of Holstein's court (our Queen Anne's youngest 
sister), where we had also very full entertainment. 
I made a speech to her also about her mother's 
death, and when I named the Lady Sophia, the 
tears v came down her cheeks. Thence we came 
back to Rheinsburg, and so to this town of 
Hamburg, where my lord intends to repose some 
days after an abrupt odd journey we had through 
Holsteinland, but I believe it will not be long, in 
regard Sir John Pennington stays for him upon the 
river. We expect Sir Robert Anstruther to come 



OF JAMES HOWELL 173 

from Vienna hither to take the advantage of the 
King's ship. 

We understand that the Imperial and Swedish 
armies have made near approaches one to the other, 
and that some skirmishes and blows have been 
already betwixt them, which are the forerunners 
of a battle. — So, my good lord, I rest, your most 
humble and faithful servitor, J. H. 

Hamburg, 9 October 1632. 

Ill 

To the Right Honourable the Earl R. ; from 
Hamburg 

My Lord, 

THOUGH your lordship must needs think, 
that in the employment I am in (which re- 
quires a whole man) my spirits must be distracted 
by multiplicity of businesses, yet because I would 
not recede from my old method and first principles 
of travel, when I came to any great city, to couch in 
writing what is most observable, I sequestered my- 
self from other affairs to send your lordship what 
followeth touching this great Hans town. 

The Hans, or Hansiatic League, is very an- 
cient, some would derive the word from hand, 
because they of the society plight their faith by 
that, action ; others derive it from Hansa, which in 
the Gothic tongue is council ; others would have it 
come from Hander see y which signifies near or upon 



i 7 4 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

the sea, and this passeth for the best etymology, 
because their towns are all seated so, or upon some 
navigable river near the sea. The extent of the 
old Hans was from the Nerve in Livonia to the 
Rhine, and contained sixty-two great mercantile 
towns, which were divided into four precincts. The 
chiefest of the first precinct was Lubeck, where the 
archives of their ancient records and their prime 
chancery is still, and this town is within that verge ; 
Cullen is chief of the second precinct, Brunswick 
of the third, and Dantzic of the fourth. The kings 
of Poland and Sweden have sued to be their pro- 
tector, but they refused them, because they were 
not princes of the Empire. They put off also the 
King of Denmark with a compliment, nor would 
they admit the King of Spain when he was most 
potent in the Netherlands, though afterwards, 
when it was too late, they desired the help of the 
ragged staff; nor of the Duke of Anjou, notwith- 
standing that the world thought he should have 
married our Queen, who interceded for him, and 
so it was probable that thereby they might recover 
their privileges in England. So that I do not find 
they ever had any protector but the Great Master 
of Prussia ; and their want of a protector did do 
them some prejudice in that famous difference they 
had with our Queen. 

The old Hans had extraordinary immunities 
given them by our Henry the Third, because they 
assisted him in his wars with so many ships, and 
as they pretend, the King was not only to pay 



OF JAMES HOWELL 175 

them for the service of the said ships but for the 
vessels themselves if they miscarried. Now it hap- 
pened that at their return to Germany, from serv- 
ing Henry the Third, there was a great fleet of 
them cast away, for which, according to covenant, 
they demanded reparation. Our King in lieu of 
money, amongst other acts of grace, gave them a 
privilege to pay but one per cent., which continued 
until Queen Mary's reign, and she by advice of 
King Philip, her husband, as it was conceived, en- 
hanced the one to twenty per cent. The Hans not 
only complained but clamoured loudly for breach 
of their ancient privileges confirmed unto them, 
time out of mind, by thirteen successive kings of 
England, which they pretended to have purchased 
with their money. King Philip undertook to ac- 
commodate the business, but Queen Mary dying 
a little after, and he retiring, there could be nothing 
done. Complaint being made to Queen Elizabeth, 
she answered that as she would not innovate any- 
thing, so she would maintain them still in the same 
condition she found them. Hereupon their naviga- 
tion and traffic ceased a while, wherefore the Eng- 
lish tried what they could do themselves, and they 
throve so well that they took the whole trade into 
their own hands, and so divided themselves (though 
they be now but one) to staplers and merchant- 
adventurers, the one residing constant in one place, 
where they kept their magazine of wool, the other 
stirring and adventuring to divers places abroad 
with cloth and other manufactures, which made the 



176 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Hans endeavour to draw upon them all the malig- 
nancy they could from all nations. Moreover, the 
Hans towns being a body politic incorporated in 
the Empire, complained hereof to the Emperor, 
who sent over persons of great quality to mediate 
an accommodation, but they could effect nothing. 
Then the Queen caused a proclamation to be pub- 
lished that the easterlings or merchants of the 
Hans should be entreated and used as all other 
strangers were within her dominions, without any 
mark of difference in point of commerce. This 
nettled them more, thereupon they bent their 
forces more eagerly, and in a diet at Ratisbon they 
procured that the English merchants who had as- 
sociated themselves into fraternities in Emden and 
other places should be declared monopolists ; and 
so there was a committal edict published against 
them that they should be exterminated and ban- 
ished out of all parts of the Empire; and this was 
done by the activity of one Suderman, a great 
civilian. There was there for the Queen, Gilpin, as 
nimble a man as Suderman, and he had the Chan- 
cellor of Emden to second and countenance him, 
but they could not stop the said edict wherein 
the Society of English Merchant-Adventurers was 
pronounced to be a monopoly ; yet Gilpin played 
his game so well, that he wrought underhand, that 
the said imperial ban should not be published till 
after the dissolution of the diet, and that in the 
interim the Emperor should send ambassadors to 
England to advertise the Queen of such a ban 



OF JAMES HOWELL 177 

against her merchants. But this wrought so little 
impression upon the Queen that the said ban grew 
rather ridiculous than formidable, for the town of 
Emden harboured our merchants notwithstanding 
and afterwards Stode, but they not being able to 
protect them so well from the imperial ban, they 
settled in this town of Hamburg. After this the 
Queen commanded another proclamation to be di- 
vulged that the easterlings or Hansiatic merchants 
should be allowed to trade in England upon the 
same conditions and payment of duties as her own 
subjects, provided that the English merchants 
might have interchangeable privilege to reside and 
trade peaceably in Stode or Hamburg or any- 
where else within the precincts of the Hans. This 
incensed them more, thereupon they resolved to 
cut off Stode and Hamburg from being members 
of the Hans or of the Empire ; but they suspended 
this design till they saw what success the great 
Spanish fleet should have, which was then prepar- 
ing in the year eighty-eight, for they had not long 
before had recourse to the King of Spain and made 
him their own, and he had done them some mate- 
rial good offices ; wherefore to this day the Spanish 
Consul is taxed of improvidence and imprudence, 
that there was no use made of the Hans towns in 
that expedition. 

The Queen finding that they of the Hans would 
not be contented with that equality she had offered 
betwixt them and her own subjects, put out a pro- 
clamation that they should carry neither corn, 



178 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

victuals, arms, timber, masts, cables, minerals, nor 
any other materials, or men to Spain or Portugal. 
And after, the Queen growing more redoubtable 
and famous, by the overthrow of the fleet of eighty- 
eight, the easterlings fell to despair of doing any 
good. Add hereunto another disaster that befell 
them, the taking of sixty sails of their ships about 
the mouth of Tagus in Portugal by the Queen's 
ships that were laden with ropas de contrabando, 
viz., goods prohibited by her former proclamation 
into the dominions of Spain. And as these ships 
were upon point of being discharged, she had 
intelligence of a great assembly at Lubeck, which 
had met of purpose to consult of means to be re- 
venged of her; thereupon she stayed and seized 
upon the said sixty ships, only two were freed to 
bring news what became of the rest. Hereupon 
the Pole sent an ambassador to her, who spoke in 
a high tone, but he was answered in a higher. 

Ever since our merchants have beaten a peaceful 
and free uninterrupted trade into this town and 
elsewhere within and without the Sound, with their 
manufactures of wool, and found the way also to 
the White Sea to Archangel and Moscow. Inso- 
much that the premises being well considered, it 
was a happy thing for England that that clashing 
fell out betwixt her and the Hans, for it may be 
said to have been the chief ground of that shipping 
and merchandising, which she is now come to, and 
wherewith she hath flourished ever since. But one 
thing is observable, that as that imperial or com- 



OF JAMES HOWELL 179 

mittal ban, pronounced in the Diet at Ratisbon 
against our merchants and manufactures of wool, 
incited them more to industry ; so our proclama- 
tion upon Alderman Cockein's project of trans- 
porting no white cloths but dyed, and in their full 
manufacture, did cause both Dutch and German to 
turn necessity to a virtue, and made them far more 
ingenious to find ways, not only to dye but to make 
cloth, which hath much impaired our markets ever 
since. For there hath not been the third part of 
our cloth sold since, either here or in Holland. 

My Lord, I pray be pleased to dispense with 
the prolixity of this discourse, for I could not wind 
it up closer, nor on a lesser bottom. I shall be 
careful to bring with me those furs I had instruc- 
tions for. — So I rest, your lordship's most hum- 
ble servitor, J. H. 

Hamburg, 20 October 1632. 

IV 

To Cap. J. Smithy at the Hague 

Captain, 

HAVING so wishful an opportunity as this 
noble gentleman, Mr James Crofts, who 
comes with a packet for the Lady Elizabeth from 
my Lord of Leicester, I could not but send you 
this friendly salute. We are like to make a speedier 
return than we expected from this embassy ; for 
we found the King of Denmark in Holstein, which 



180 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

shortened our voyage from going to the Sound. 
The King was in an advantageous posture to give 
audience, for there was a parliament then at Rheins- 
burg, where all the younkers met. Amongst other 
things I put myself to mark the carriage of the 
Holstein gentlemen as they were going in and out 
at the parliament house ; and observing well their 
physiognomies, their complexions and gait, I 
thought verily I was in England, for they resemble 
the English more than either Welsh or Scot 
(though cohabiting upon the same island), or any 
other people that ever I saw yet ; which makes 
me verily believe that the English nation came 
first from this lower circuit of Saxony ; and there 
is one thing that strengtheneth me in this belief, 
that there is an ancient town hard by called Lon- 
don, and an island called Angles ; whence it may 
well be that our country came from Britannia to 
be Anglia. 

This town of Hamburg, from a society of 
brewers, is come to be a huge wealthy place, and 
her new town is almost as big as the old. There 
is a shrewd jar betwixt her and her protector, the 
King of Denmark. 

My Lord of Leicester hath done some good 
offices to accommodate matters. She chomps ex- 
tremely that there should be such a bit put lately 
in her mouth as the fort at Luckstadt, which 
commands her river of Elbe, and makes her pay 
what toll he please. 

The King begins to fill his chests apace, which 



OF JAMES HOWELL 181 

were so emptied in his late marches to Germany. 
He hath set a new toll upon all ships that pass to 
this town ; and in the Sound also there be some 
extraordinary duties imposed, whereat all nations 
begin to murmur, specially the Hollanders, who 
say that the old primitive toll of the Sound was 
but a rose-noble for every ship, but by a new 
sophistry, it is now interpreted for every sail that 
should pass through, insomuch that the Holland- 
er, though he be a Low Country man, begins to 
speak High Dutch in this point, a rough language 
you know, which made the Italian tell a German 
gentleman once, that " when God Almighty thrust 
Adam out of Paradise he spake Dutch," but the 
German retorted wittily, " Then, sir, if God spake 
Dutch when Adam was ejected, Eve spake Italian 
when Adam was seduced." 

I could be larger, but for a sudden avocation to 
business. So I most affectionately send my kind 
respects unto you, desiring, when I am returned 
to London, I may hear from you. So I am, your 
faithful friend to serve you, J. H. 

Hamburg, 22 October 1632. 

V 

To the Right Honourable the Earl of Br. 

My Lord, 
AM newly returned from Germany, whence 
there came lately two ambassadors-extraordin- 



1 



182 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

ary in one of the ships royal, the Earl of Leicester 
and Sir Robert Anstruther. The latter came from 
Vienna, and I know little of his negotiations ; 
but for my Lord of Leicester I believe there was 
never so much business despatched in so short a 
compass of time by any ambassador, as your lord- 
ship, who is best able to judge, will find by this 
short relation. When my lord was come to the 
King of Denmark's court, which was then at 
Rheinsburg a good way within Holstein, the first 
thing he did was to condole the late queen-dow- 
ager's death (our king's grandmother), which was 
done in such an equipage that the Danes confessed 
there was never Queen of Denmark so mourned 
for. This ceremony being passed, my lord fell to 
business, and the first thing which he propounded 
was, that for preventing the further effusion of 
Christian blood in Germany, and for the facilitat- 
ing a way to restore peace to all Christendom, His 
Majesty of Denmark would join with his nephew 
of Great Britain to send a solemn embassy to the 
Emperor and the King of Sweden (the ends of 
whose proceedings were doubtful) to mediate an 
accommodation, and to appear for him who will 
be found most conformable to reason. To this 
that King answered in writing (for that was the way 
of proceeding) that the Emperor and the Swede 
were come to that height and heat of war, and to 
such a violence, that it is no time yet to speak 
to them of peace, but when the fury is a little 
passed and the times more proper, he would take 



OF JAMES HOWELL 183 

it for an honour to join with his nephew and con- 
tribute the best means he could to bring about 
so good a work. 

Then there was computation made, what was 
due to the King of Great Britain and the Lady 
Elizabeth out of their grandmother's estate, which 
was valued at near upon two millions of dollars, 
and your lordship must think it was a hard task 
to liquidate such an account. This being done 
my lord desired that part which was due to His 
Majesty (our King) and the lady, his sister, which 
appeared to amount unto eightscore thousand 
pounds sterling. That King answered that he 
confessed there was so much money due, but his 
mother's estate was yet in the hands of commis- 
sioners; and neither he nor any of his sisters had 
received their portions yet, and that his nephew 
of England and his niece of Holland should 
receive theirs with the first; but he did intimate 
besides that there were some considerable accounts 
betwixt him and the crown of England for ready 
moneys he had lent his brother King James, and 
for the thirty thousand pounds a month that was by 
covenant promised him for the support of his late 
army in Germany. Then my lord propounded 
that His Majesty of Great Britain's subjects were 
not well used by his officers in the Sound; for 
though that was but a transitory passage into the 
Baltic Sea, and that they neither bought nor sold 
anything upon the place, yet they were forced to 
stay there many days, to take up money at high 



1 84 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

interest, to pay divers tolls for their merchandise 
before they have exposed them to vent. Therefore 
it was desired for the future what English mer- 
chant soever should pass through the Sound it 
should be sufficient for him to register an invoice 
of his cargazon in the Custom-house book, and 
give his bond to pay all duties at his return when 
he had made his market. To this my lord had a 
fair answer, and so procured a public instrument 
under that King's hand and seal, and signed by 
his councillors, which he had brought over, 
wherein the proposition was granted, which no 
ambassador could obtain before. Then it was al- 
leged that the English merchant adventurers who 
trade into Hamburg have a new toll lately im- 
posed upon them at Luckstadt which was desired 
to be taken off. To this also there was the like 
instrument given that the said toll should be lev- 
ied no more. Lastly, my lord (in regard he was 
to pass by the Hague) desired that hereditary part 
which belonged to the Lady Elizabeth out of her 
grandmother's estate, because His Majesty knew 
well what crosses and afflictions she had passed, 
and what a numerous issue she had to maintain. 
And my Lord of Leicester would engage his hon- 
our, and all the estate he hath in the world, that 
this should in no way prejudice the accounts he is 
to make with His Majesty of Great Britain. The 
King of Denmark highly extolled the nobleness 
of this motion, but he protested that he had been 
so drained in the late wars that his chests are yet 



OF JAMES HOWELL 185 

very empty. Hereupon my lord was feasted and 
so departed. 

He went then to the Duke of Holstein to Sles- 
wick, where he found him at his castle of Gothorp, 
and truly I did not think to have found such a 
magnificent building in these bleak parts. There 
also my lord did condole the death of the late 
queen, that Duke's grandmother, and he received 
very princely entertainment. 

Then he went to Husem, where the like cere- 
mony of condolement was performed at the 
Duchess of Holstein's Court, His Majesty's (our 
King's) aunt. 

Then he came to Hamburg, where that instru- 
ment which my lord had procured for remitting of 
the new toll at Gliickstadt was delivered, the Com- 
pany of our Merchants Adventurers, and some 
other good offices done for that town, as matters 
stood betwixt them and the King of Denmark. 

Then we came Stode, where Lesly was governor, 
who carried his foot in a scarf for a wound he had 
received at Buckstoho, and he kept that place for 
the King of Sweden, and some business of conse- 
quence was done there also. 

So we came to Broomsbottle, where we stayed 
for a wind some days, and in the midway of our 
voyage we met with a Holland ship, who told us 
the King of Sweden was slain ; and so we re- 
turned to London in less than three months. And 
if this was not business enough for such a com- 
pass of time, I leave your lordship to judge. 



1 86 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

So craving your lordship's pardon for this lame 
account, I rest, your lordship's most humble and 
ready servitor, J. H. 

London, i October 1632. 

VI 

To my Brother Dr Howell, at his House in 
Horsley 

My good Brother, 

1AM safely returned from Germany, thanks 
be to God ; and the news which we heard at 
sea by a Dutch skipper, about the midst of our 
voyage from Hamburg, it seems proves too true, 
which was of the fall of the King of Sweden. One 
Jerbire, who says that he was in the very action, 
brought the first news to this town, and every 
corner rings of it ; yet such is the extravagance of 
some that they will lay wagers he is not yet dead, 
and the Exchange is full of such people. He was 
slain at Lutzen field battle, having made the Im- 
perial army give ground the day before ; and being 
in pursuance of it the next morning in a sudden 
fog that fell, the cavalry on both sides being 
engaged, he was killed in the midst of the troops, 
and none knows who killed him, whether one of 
his own men or the enemy. But finding himself 
mortally hurt, he told Saxen Waymar, " Cousin, 
I pray look to the troops, for I think I have 
enough." His body was not only rescued, but 



OF JAMES HOWELL 187 

his forces had the better of the day, Papenheim 
being killed before him, whom he esteemed the 
greatest captain of all his enemies, for he was used 
to say that he had three men to deal withal, a pol- 
troon, a Jesuit, and a soldier. By the two first he 
meant Walstein and the Duke of Bavaria; by 
the last Papenheim. 

Questionless this Gustavus (whose anagram is 
Augustus) was a great captain and a gallant man, 
and had he survived that last victory, he would 
have put the Emperor to such a plunge that some 
think he would hardly have been able to have 
made head against him to any purpose again. Yet 
his own allies confess that none knew the bottom 
of his designs. 

He was not much affected to the English. 
Witness the ill-usage Marquis Hamilton hath with 
his 6000 men, whereof there returned not 600. 
The rest died of hunger and sickness, having 
never seen the face of an enemy. Witness also 
his harshness to our ambassadors, and the rigid 
terms he would have tied the Prince Palsgrave 
unto. — So with my affectionate respects to Mr 
Mouschamp and kind commends to Mr Bridger, 
I rest, your loving brother, 

J.H. 

Westminster, 5 December 1632. 



1 88 FAMILIAR LETTERS 



VII 

To the R. R. Dr Field, Lord Bishop of 
St Davids 

My Lord, 

YOUR late letter affected me with two con- 
trary passions, with gladness and sorrow. 
The beginning of it dilated my spirits with appre- 
hensions of joy that you are so well recovered of 
your late sickness, which I heartily congratulate ; 
but the conclusion of your lordship's letter con- 
tracted my spirits, and plunged them in a deep 
sense of just sorrow, while you please to write me 
news of my dear father's death. Permulsit initiurn, 
percussit finis. Truly, my lord, it is the heaviest 
news that ever was sent me ; but when I recollect 
myself, and consider the fairness and maturity of 
his age, and that it was rather a gentle dissolution 
than a death ; when I contemplate that infinite 
advantage he hath got by this change and trans- 
migration, it much lightens the weight of my 
grief, for if ever human soul entered heaven, 
surely his is there. Such was his constant piety to 
God, his rare indulgence to his children, his char- 
ity to his neighbours, and his candour in recon- 
ciling differences ; such was the gentleness of his 
disposition, his unwearied course in actions of 
virtue, that I wish my soul no other felicity, when 



OF JAMES HOWELL 189 

she hath shaken off these rags of flesh, than to 
ascend to his, and co-enjoy the same bliss. 

Excuse me, my lord, that I take my leave at 
this time so abruptly of you. When this sorrow 
is a little digested you shall hear further from me, 
for I am your lordship's most true and humble 
servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 1 of May 1632. 

VIII 

Ti? the Earl of Leicester, at Pen hurst 

My Lord, 

I HAVE delivered Mr Secretary Cook an ac- 
count of the whole legation as your lordship 
ordered me, which contained near upon twenty 
sheets. I attended him also with the note of your 
extraordinaries, wherein I find him something 
difficult and dilatory yet. The Governor of the 
Eastland Company, Mr Alderman Clethero, will 
attend your lordship at your return to court to 
acknowledge your favour unto them. I have de- 
livered him a copy of the transactions of things 
that concerned their Company at Rheinsburg. 

The news we heard at sea of the King of Swe- 
den's death is confirmed more and more, and by 
the computation I have been a little curious to 
make, I find that he was killed the same day your 
lordship set out of Hamburg. But there is other 
news come since of the death of the Prince Palatin, 



190 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

who, as they write, being returned from visiting 
the Duke de deux Ponts to Mentz, was struck 
there with the contagion ; yet by special ways of 
cure the malignity was expelled and great hopes 
of recovery, when the news came of the death of 
the King of Sweden, which made such impressions 
on him, that he died few days after, having over- 
come all difficulties concluding with the Swede and 
the Governor of Frankindall, and being ready to 
enter into a repossession of his country : a sad 
destiny. 

The Swedes bear up still, being fomented and 
supported by the French, who will not suffer them 
to leave Germany yet. A gentleman that came 
lately from Italy told me that there is no great joy 
in Rome for the death of the King of Sweden. 
The Spaniards up and down will not stick to call 
this Pope Lutherano, and that he had intelligence 
with the Swede. It is true that he hath not been 
so forward to assist the Emperor in this quarrel, 
and that in open consistory, when there was such 
a contrast betwixt the cardinals for a supply from 
St Peter, he declared that he was well satisfied that 
this war in Germany was no war of religion ; which 
made him dismiss the Imperial Ambassadors with 
this short answer : that the Emperor had drawn 
these mischiefs upon himself; for at that time when 
he saw the Swedes upon the frontiers of Germany, 
if he had employed those men and moneys which 
he consumed to trouble the peace of Italy in mak- 
ing war against the Duke of Mantua against them, 



OF JAMES HOWELL 191 

he had not had now so potent an enemy. — So 
I take my leave for this time, being your lordships 
most humble and obedient servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 3 June 1632, 

IX 
To Mr E. D. 

I THANK you a thousand times for the noble 
entertainment you gave me at Berry, and the 
pains you took in showing me the antiquities of 
that place. In requittal, I can tell you of a strange 
thing I saw lately here, and I believe it is true. As 
I passed by St Dustans in Fleet Street the other 
Saturday, I stepped into a lapidary or stone-cut- 
ter's shop to treat with the master for a stone to 
be put upon my father's tomb ; and casting my 
eyes up and down, I might spy a huge marble 
with a large inscription upon it, which was thus to 
my best remembrance : 

Here lies John Oxenham, a goodly young man, in whose 
chamber, as he was struggling with the pangs of death, a 
bird with a white breast was seen fluttering about his bed 
and so vanished. 

Here lies also Mary Oxenham, the sister of the said John, who 
died the next day, and the same apparition was seen in the 
room. 

Then another sister is spoke of. Then, 

Here lies hard by James Oxenham, the son of the said John, 
who died a child in his cradle a little after, and such a bird 



192 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

was seen fluttering about his head a little before he expired, 
which vanished afterwards. 

At the bottom of the stone there is, 

Here lies Elizabeth Oxenham, the mother of the said John, 
who died sixteen years since, when such a bird with a white 
breast was seen about her bed before her death. 

To all these* there be divers witnesses, both 
squires and ladies, whose names are engraven upon 
the stone. This stone is to be sent to a town hard 
by Exeter where this happened. 

Were you here, I could raise a choice discourse 
with you hereupon. So, hoping to see you the 
next term to requite some of your favours, I rest 
your true friend to serve you, J. H. 

Westminster, 3 July 1632. 

X 

To W. B. 9 Esq. 

THE upbraiding of a courtesy is as bad in the 
giver, as ingratitude in the receiver though I 
(which you think I am loth to believe) be faulty in 
the first, I shall never offend in the second, while 

J. HOWEL. 

Westminster, 24 October 1632. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 193 

XI 

To Sir Arthur Ingram, at York 

OUR greatest news here now is, that we have 
a new Attorney-General, which is news 
indeed, considering the humour of the man, how 
he hath been always ready to entertain any cause 
whereby he might clash with the prerogative ; but 
now as Judge Richardson told him, his head is full 
of proclamations, and devices how to bring money 
into the exchequer. He hath lately found out 
amongst the old records of the Tower some pre- 
cedents for raising a tax called ship money in all 
the port towns, when the kingdom is in danger. 
Whether we are in danger or no, at present it were 
presumption in me to judge ; that belongs to His 
Majesty and his Privy Council, who have their 
choice instruments abroad for intelligence ; yet 
one with half an eye may see we cannot be secure 
while such huge fleets of men-of-war, both Spanish, 
French, Dutch and Dunkirkers, some of them 
laden with ammunition, men, arms, and armies, 
do daily sail on our seas, and confront the King's 
chambers ; while we have only three or four ships 
abroad to guard our coasts and kingdom, and to 
preserve the fairest flower of the crown, the do- 
minion of the narrow seas, which I hear the French 
cardinal begins to question, and the Hollander 
lately would not veil to one of His Majesty's ships 



194 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

that brought over the Duke of Lennox and my 
Lord Weston from Bullen ; and indeed we are 
jeered aboard, that we send no more ships to guard 
our seas. 

Touching my Lord Ambassador Weston, he had 
a brave journey of it, though it cost dear : for it 
is thought it will stand His Majesty in ^25,000, 
which makes some critics of the times to censure 
the Lord Treasurer. That now the King wanting 
money so much he should send his son abroad 
to spend him such a sum only for delivering of 
presents and compliments ; but I believe they are 
deceived, for there were matters of State also in the 
embassy. 

The Lord Weston, passing by Paris, intercepted 
and opened a packet of my Lord of Holland, 
wherein there were some letters of Her Maj- 
esty's ; this my Lord of Holland takes in that 
scorn, that he defied him since his coming, and 
demanded the combat of him, for which he is 
confined to his house at Kensington. — So with 
my humble service to my noble lady, I rest your 
much obliged servitor, 

j. H. 

Westminster, 30 January 1633. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 195 



XII 

To the Lord Viscount Wentworth, Lord Deputy 
of Ireland, and Lord President of York, etc. 

My Lord, 

I WAS glad to apprehend the opportunity of 
this packet to convey my humble service to 
your lordship. 

There are old doings in France, and it is no new 
thing for the French to be always a-doing, they 
have such a stirring genius. The queen-mother 
hath made an escape to Brussels and Monsieur to 
Lorraine, where they say he courts very earnestly 
the duke's sister, a young lady under twenty. They 
say a contract is passed already, but the French 
cardinal opposeth it; for they say that Lorraine 
milk seldom breeds good blood in France. Not 
only the King, but the whole Gallican Church 
hath protested against it in a solemn Synod, for 
the heir apparent of the crown of France cannot 
marry without the royal consent. This aggravates 
a grudge the French King hath to the duke for 
siding with the Imperialists, and for things reflect- 
ing upon the Duchy of Bar, for which he is hom- 
ageable to the crown of France, as he is to the 
Emperor for Lorraine. A hard task it is to serve 
two masters, and an unhappy situation it is to lie 
betwixt two puissant monarchs, as the Dukes of 
Savoy and Lorraine do. — So I kiss your lordship's 



196 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

hands, and rest, my lord, your most humble and 
ready servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, i of April 1633. 

XIII 

To my Most Noble Lady, the Lady Cornwallis 

IN conformity to your commands, which sway 
with me as much as an act of parliament, I 
have sent your ladyship this small hymn for Christ- 
mas day, now near approaching. If your ladyship 
please to put an air to it, I have my reward. 

1 . Hail, holy tide, 
Wherein a bride, 

A virgin (which is more), 
Brought forth a Son, 
The like was done 

Ne'er in the world before. 

2. Hail, spotless maid, 
Who thee upbraid, 

To have been born in sin, 
Do little weigh 
What in thee lay 

Before thou didst lie-in. 

3. Nine months thy womb 
Was made the dome 

Of Him whom earth nor air, 
Nor the vast mould 
Of heaven can hold, 

'Cause He 's ubiquitair. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 197 

4. O would He deign 
To rest and reign 

F th* centre of my heart ; 
And make it still 
His domicile 

And residence in part. 

5. But in so foul a cell 
Can He abide to dwell ? 

Yes, when He please to move 
His harbinger to sweep the room, 
And with rich odours it perfume, 

Of faith, of hope, of love. 

So I humbly kiss your hands, and thank your 
ladyship that you would command, in anything 
that may conduce to your contentment, your 
ladyship's most humble servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 3 February 1633. 

XIV 

To the Lord Clifford, at Knares borough 

My Lord, 

1 RECEIVED your lordship's of the last of 
June, and I return my most humble thanks 
for the choice nag you pleased to send me, which 
came in very good plight. Your lordship desires 
me to lay down what in my travels abroad I ob- 
served of the present condition of the Jews, once 
an elect people, but now grown contemptible, and 
strangely squandered up and down the world. 



198 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Though such a discourse, exactly framed, might 
make up a volume, yet I will twist up what I know 
in this point upon as narrow a bottom as may be 
shut up within the compass of this letter. 

The first Christian country that expelled the 
Jews was England. France followed our example 
next, then Spain, and afterwards Portugal ; nor 
were they exterminated these countries for their 
religion, but for villainies and cheatings, for clip- 
ping coins, poisoning of waters and counterfeiting 
of seals. 

Those countries they are permitted to live now 
most in, amongst Christians, are Germany, Hol- 
land, Bohemia and Italy ; but not in those parts 
where the King of Spain hath to do. In the Le- 
vant and Turkey they swarm most, for the Grand 
Vizier, and all other great bashawes, have com- 
monly some Jew for their counsellor or spy, who 
informs them of the state of Christian princes, 
possess them of a hatred of the religion, and so 
incense them to war against them. 

They are accounted the subtlest and most sub- 
dolous people upon earth ; the reason why they 
are thus degenerated from their primitive simplic- 
ity and innocence is their often captivities, their des- 
perate fortunes, the necessity and hatred to which 
they have been habituated, for nothing depraves 
ingenious spirits and corrupts clear wits more than 
want and indigence. By their profession they are 
for the most part brokers and lombarders, yet by 
that base and servile way of frippery trade they 



OF JAMES HOWELL 199 

grow rich wheresoever they nest themselves : and 
this with their multiplication of children they 
hold to be an argument that an extraordinary 
providence attends them still. Methinks that so 
clear accomplishments of the prophecies of our 
Saviour touching that people should work upon 
them for their conversion, as the destruction of 
their city and temple, that they should become 
despicable, and the tail of all nations : that they 
should be vagabonds, and have no firm habitation. 

Touching the first, they know it came punc- 
tually to pass, and so have the other two ; for 
they are the most hateful race of men upon earth ; 
insomuch that in Turkey, where they are most 
valued, if a Mussulman come to any of their 
houses and leave his shoes at the door, the Jew 
dare not come in all the while, till the Turk hath 
done what he would with his wife. For the last, 
it is wonderful to see in what considerable num- 
bers they are dispersed up and down the world, 
yet they can never reduce themselves to such a 
coalition and unity as may make a republic, prin- 
cipality, or kingdom. 

They hold that the Jews of Italy, Germany, 
and the Levant are of Benjamin's tribe ; ten of 
the tribes at the destruction of Jeroboam's king- 
dom were led captives beyond Euphrates, whence 
they never returned, nor do they know what be- 
came of them ever after; yet they believe they 
never became apostates and Gentiles. But the 
tribe of Judah, whence they expect their Messiah, 



200 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

of whom one shall hear them discourse with so 
much confidence and self-pleasing conceit, they 
say is settled in Portugal ; where they give out to 
have thousands of their race, whom they dispense 
withal to make a semblance of Christianity even 
to Church degrees. 

This makes them breed up their children in 
the Lusitanian language ; which makes the Span- 
iard have an odd saying, that " El Portuguez se 
crio del pedo de un Judio " — a Portuguese was 
engendered of a Jew's fart ; " as the Moham- 
medans have a passage in their Alchoran, " That 
a cat was made of a lion's breath." 

As they are the most contemptible people, and 
have a kind of fulsome scent, no better than a 
stink, that distinguisheth them from others, so are 
they the most timorous people on earth, and so, 
utterly incapable of arms, for they are made neither 
soldiers nor slaves. And this their pusillanimity and 
cowardice, as well as their cunning and craft, may 
be imputed to their various thraldoms, contempt 
and poverty, which hath cowed and dastardised 
their courage. Besides these properties, they are 
light and giddy-headed, much symbolising in spirit 
with our apocalyptical zealots, and fiery interpret- 
ers of Daniel and other prophets, whereby they 
often soothe, or rather fool themselves into some 
illumination, which really proves but some egre- 
gious dotage. 

They much glory of their mysterious Cabal, 
wherein they make the reality of things to depend 



OF JAMES HOWELL 201 

upon letters and words : but they say that Hebrew 
only hath this privilege. This Cabal, which is 
nought else but a tradition, they say, being trans- 
mitted from one age to another, was in some 
measure a reparation of our knowledge lost in 
Adam, and they say it was revealed four times. 
First to Adam, who being thrust out of Paradise, 
and sitting one day very sad and sorrowing for the 
loss of the knowledge he had of that dependence 
the creatures have with their Creator, the angel 
Raguel was sent to comfort him, and to instruct 
him, and repair his knowledge herein. And this 
they call the Cabal, which was lost the second 
time by the Flood and Babel ; then God discov- 
ered it to Moses in the bush, the third time to 
Solomon in a dream, whereby he came to know 
the beginning, mediety, and consummation of 
times, and so wrote divers books, which were lost 
in the grand captivity. The last time they hold 
that God restored the Cabal to Esdras (a book 
they value extraordinarily), who by God's com- 
mand withdrew to the wilderness forty days with 
five scribes, who in that space wrote two hundred 
and four books. The first one hundred thirty and 
four were to be read by all ; but the other seventy 
were to pass privately among the Levites, and these 
they pretend to be cabalistic, and not yet all lost. 
There are at this day three sects of Jews, the 
Africans first, who, besides the Holy Scriptures, 
embrace the Talmud also for authentic; the sec- 
ond receive only the Scriptures ; the third, which 



202 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

are called the Samaritans (whereof there are but 
few), admit only of the Pentateuch, the five books 
of Moses. 

The Jews in general drink no wine without a 
dispensation. When they kill any creature, they 
turn his face to the east, saying, " Be it sanctified 
in the great name of God;" they cut the throat 
with a knife without a gap, which they hold very 
profane. 

In their synagogues they make one of the best 
sort to read a chapter of Moses, then some mean 
boy reads a piece of the Prophets ; in the midst, 
there is a round place arched over, wherein one 
of their rabbis walks up and down, and in Portu- 
guese magnifies the Messiah to come, comforts 
their captivity, and rails at Christ. 

They have a kind of cupboard to represent the 
tabernacle, wherein they lay the tables of the law, 
which now and then they take out and kiss, they 
sing many tunes, and Adonai they make the or- 
dinary name of God. Jehovah is pronounced at 
high festivals ; at circumcision boys are put to 
sing some of David's Psalms so loud as drowns 
the infant's cry. The synagogue is hung about 
with glass lamps burning ; every one at his en- 
trance puts on a linen cope, first kissing it, else 
they use no manner of reverence all the while ; 
their elders sometimes fall together by the ears in 
the very synagogue, and with the holy utensils, 
as candlesticks, incense-pans, and such-like, break 
one another's pates. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 203 

Women are not allowed to enter the syna- 
gogue, but they sit in a gallery without, for they 
hold they have not so divine a soul as men and 
are of a lower creation, made only for sensual 
pleasure and propagation. 

Amongst the Mohammedans there is no Jew 
capable of a Turkish habit unless he acknowledge 
Christ as much as Turks do, which is to have been 
a great prophet, whereof they hold there are three 
only — Moses, Christ, and Mohammed. 

Thus, my lord, to perform your commands, 
which are very prevalent with me, have I couched 
in this letter what I could of the condition of the 
Jews, and if it may give your lordship any satis- 
faction, I have my reward abundantly. — So I 
rest your lordship's most humble and ready serv- 
itor, J. H. 

Westminster, 3 of June 1633. 

XV 

To Mr Philip Warrick, at Paris 

YOUR last unto me was in French of the 
first current, and I am glad you are come so 
safe from Switzerland to Paris ; as also, that you 
are grown so great a proficient in the language. 
I thank you for the variety of news you sent me, 
so handsomely couched and knit together. 

To correspond with you, the greatest news we 
have here is that we have a gallant fleet royal ready 



204 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

to set to sea for the security of our coasts and com- 
merce and for the sovereignty of our seas. Hans 
said the King of England was asleep all this while, 
but now he is awake ; nor do I hear, doth your 
French cardinal tamper any longer with our King's 
title and right to the dominion of the narrow seas. 
These are brave fruits of the ship moneys. 

I hear that the Infante Cardinal having been 
long upon his way to Brussels hath got a notable 
victory of the Swedes at Nordlingen, where 8000 
were slain, Gustavus Horn and other of the prime 
commanders taken prisoners. They write also that 
Monsieur's marriage with Madame of Lorraine 
was solemnly celebrated at Brussels. She had fol- 
lowed him from Nancy in page's apparel, because 
there were forces in the way. It must needs be 
a mighty charge to the King of Spain to maintain 
mother and son in this manner. 

The Court affords little news at present, but that 
there is a love called platonic love, which much 
sways there of late. It is a love abstracted from 
all corporal gross impressions and sensual appetite, 
but consists in contemplations and ideas of the 
mind, not in any carnal fruition. This love sets 
the wits of the town on work, and they say there 
will be a mask shortly of it, whereof Her Majesty 
and her maids of honour will be part. 

All your friends here in Westminster are well 
and very mindful of you, but none more often than 
your most affectionate servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 3 June 1634. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 205 

XVI 

To my brother Mr H. P. 

Brother, 

MY brain was overcast with a thick cloud of 
melancholy. I was become a lump I know 
not of what. I could scarce find any palpitation 
within me on the left side. When yours of the 
first of September was brought me it had such a 
virtue that it begot new motions in me, like the 
loadstone, which by its attractive occult quality 
moves the dull body of iron and makes it active. 
So dull was I then and such a magnetic property 
your letter had to quicken me. 

There is some murmuring against the ship 
money, because the tax is indefinite, as also by rea- 
son that it is levied upon the country towns as well 
as maritime, and for that, they say Noy himself 
cannot show any record. There are also divers 
patents granted, which are muttered at as being no 
better than monopolies. Amongst others a Scots- 
man got one lately upon the statute of levying 
twelve pence for every oath, which the justices of 
peace and constables had power to raise, and have 
still ; but this new patentee is to quicken and put 
more life in the law and see it executed. He hath 
power to nominate one, or two, or three in some 
parishes, which are to have commission from him 
for this public service, and so they are to be exempt 



106 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

from bearing office, which must needs deserve a 
gratuity. And I believe this was the main drift 
of the Scot patentee, so that he intends to keep 
his office in the temple, and certainly he is like 
to be a mighty gainer by it, for who would not give 
a good piece of money to be freed from bearing 
all cumbersome offices? — No more now, but that 
with my dear love to my sister, I rest your most 
affectionate brother, 

j. H. 

Westminster, i August 1633. 

XVII 

To the Right Honourable the Lord Viscount 
Savage, at Long Malford 

My Lord, 

THE old steward of your courts, Master Attor- 
ney-General Noy, is lately dead, nor could 
Tunbridge waters do him any good. Though he 
had good matter in his brain, he had, it seems, ill 
materials in his body, for his heart was shrivelled 
like a leather penny purse when he was dissected, 
nor were his lungs sound. 

Being such a clerk in the law, all the world won- 
ders he left such an odd will, which is short and 
in Latin. The substance of it is, that he having 
bequeathed a few legacies, and left his second son 
100 marks a year and 500 pounds in money, 
enough to bring him up in his father's profession, 



OF JAMES HOWELL 207 

he concludes, " Reliqua meorum omnia primogen- 
ito meo Eduardo, dissipanda nee melius unquam 
speravi ego. I leave the rest of all my goods to my 
first-born, Edward, to be consumed or scattered 
(for I never hoped better)." A strange, and scarce 
a Christian will, in my opinion, for it argues un- 
charitableness. Nor doth the world wonder less 
that he should leave no legacy to some of your 
lordship's children, considering what deep obliga- 
tions he had to your lordship ; for I am confident 
he had never been Attorney-General else. 

The vintners drink carouses of joy that he is gone, 
for now they are in hopes to dress meat again and 
sell tobacco, beer, sugar and faggots, which by a 
sullen capricio of his he would have restrained 
them from. He had his humour as other men, 
but certainly he was a solid rational man ; and 
though no great orator, yet a profound lawyer, 
and no man better versed in the records of the 
Tower. I heard your lordship often say with 
what infinite pains and indefatigable study he came 
to this knowledge. And I never heard a more 
pertinent anagram than was made of his name, 
" William Noye, I moyle in law." If an s be added, 
it may be applied to my countryman, Judge Jones, 
an excellent lawyer too, and a far more genteel 
man, "William Jones, I moyle in laws." — No 
more now, but that I rest your lordship's most 
humble and obliged servitor, 

J. H. 

Westminster, 1 October 1635. 



2o8 FAMILIAR LETTERS 



XVIII 

To the Right Honourable the Countess of 
Sunderland 

HERE enclosed I send your ladyship a letter 
from the Lord Deputy of Ireland, wherein 
he declares that the disposing of the attorneyship 
in York, which he passed over to me, had no rela- 
tion to my lord at all, but it was merely done out 
of a particular respect to me. Your ladyship may 
please to think of it accordingly, touching the ac- 
counts. 

It is now a good while the two nephew princes 
have been here, I mean the Prince Elector and 
Prince Robert. The King of Sweden's death and 
the late blow at Nordlingen hath half-blasted their 
hopes to do any good for recovery of the Pal- 
atinate by land, therefore I hear of some new de- 
signs by sea. That the one shall go to Madagascar, 
a great island 800 miles long in the East Indies, 
never yet colonised by any Christian, and Captain 
Bond is to be his lieutenant ; the other is to go with 
a considerable fleet to the West Indies, to seize 
upon some place there that may countervail the 
Palatinate, and Sir Henry Mervin to go with him. 
But I hear my Lady Elizabeth opposeth it, say- 
ing, that " she '11 have none of her sons to be 
knights-errant." There is now professed actual 
enmity betwixt France and Spain, for there was a 



OF JAMES HOWELL 209 

herald-at-arms sent lately from Paris to Flanders, 
who by sound of trumpet denounced and pro- 
claimed open war against the King of Spain and 
all his dominions. This herald left and fixed up 
the defiance in all the towns as he passed ; so that 
whereas before the war was but collateral and aux- 
iliary, there is now proclaimed hostility between 
them, notwithstanding that they have one another's 
sisters in their beds every night. What the reason 
of this war is, truly, madam, I cannot tell, unless 
it be reason of State, to prevent the further growth 
of the Spanish monarchy ; and there be multitude 
of examples how preventive wars have been prac- 
tised from all times. Howsoever, it is too sure 
that abundance of Christian blood will be spilt. — So 
I humbly take my leave, and rest, madam, your 
ladyship's most obedient and faithful servitor, 

J. H. 

Westminster, 4 June 1635. 

XIX 

To the Earl of Leicester, at Penshurst 

My Lord, 

1AM newly returned out of France, from a 
flying journey as far as Orleans, which I made 
at the request of Mr Secretary Windebank, and 
I hope I shall receive some fruits of it hereafter. 
There is yet a great resentment in many places in 
France, for the beheading of Montmorency, whom 



210 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Henry the Fourth was used to say to be the 
better gentleman than himself, for in his colours 
he carried this motto, " Dieu ayde le premier che- 
valier de France " (God help the first knight of 
France). He died upon a scaffold in Toulouse, 
in the flower of his years, at thirty-four, and hath 
left no issue behind, so that noble old family ex- 
tinguished in a snuff. His treason was very foul, 
having received particular commissions from the 
King to make an extraordinary levy of men and 
money in Languedoc, which he turned afterwards 
directly against the King, against whose person 
he appeared armed in open field, and in a hostile 
posture for fomenting of Monsieur's rebellion. 

The Infante Cardinal is come to Brussels at last 
through many difficulties. And some few days be- 
fore Monsieur made semblance to go a-hawking, 
and so fled to France, but left his mother behind, 
who, since the archduchess's death, is not so well 
looked on as formerly in that country. 

Touching your business in the Exchequer Sir 
Robert Pye went with me this morning of purpose 
to my Lord Treasurer about it, and told me with 
much earnestness and assurance that there shall be 
a speedy course taken for your lordship's satis- 
faction. 

I delivered my Lord of Lindsey the manu- 
script he lent your lordship of his father's embassy 
to Denmark. And herewith I present your lord- 
ship with a complete diary of your own late lega- 
tion, which hath cost me some toil and labour. — So 



OF JAMES HOWELL 211 

I rest always, your lordship's most humble and 
ready servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 19 June 1635. 

XX 

To my Honoured Friend and Father, 
Mr Ben Johnson 

Fa. Ben, 

BEING lately in France and returning in coach 
from Paris to Rouen I lighted upon the so- 
ciety of a knowing gentleman who related unto 
me a choice story, whereof peradventure you may 
make some use in your way. 

Some hundred and odd years since there was 
in France one Captain Coucy, a gallant gentleman 
of an ancient extraction and keeper of Coucy 
Castle, which is yet standing, and in good repair. 
He fell in love with a young gentlewoman, and 
courted her for his wife. There was reciprocal love 
between them, but her parents understanding of 
it, by way of prevention they shuffled up a forced 
match betwixt her and one Monsieur Faiel, who 
was a great heir. Captain Coucy hereupon quitted 
France in discontent, and went to the wars in 
Hungary against the Turk, where he received a 
mortal wound, not far from Buda. Being carried 
to his lodging he languished some days, but a 
little before his death he spoke to an ancient serv- 
ant of his that he had many proofs of his fidelity 



212 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

and truth, but now he had a great business to 
entrust him with, which he conjured him by all 
means to do, which was : That after his death he 
should get his body to be opened, and then to take 
his heart out of his breast and put it in an earthen 
pot to be baked to powder, then to put the pow- 
der into a handsome box with that bracelet of hair 
he had worn long about his left wrist, which was 
a lock of Mademoiselle Faiel's hair, and put it 
amongst the powder, together with a little note he 
had written with his own blood to her ; and after 
he had given him the rites of burial to make all 
the speed he could to France and deliver the said 
box to Mademoiselle Faiel. The old servant did 
as his master had commanded him, and so went 
to France, and coming one day to Monsieur 
Faiel's house he suddenly met him with one of 
his servants, and examined him, because he knew 
he was Captain Coucy's servant, and finding him 
timorous and faltering in his speech he searched 
him and found the said box in his pocket with 
the note, which expressed what was therein. He 
dismissed the bearer with menaces that he should 
come no more near his house. Monsieur Faiel 
going in sent for his cook and delivered him the 
powder, charging him to make a little well-relished 
dish of it, without losing a jot of it, for it was a very 
costly thing, and commanded him to bring it in 
himself after the last course at supper. The cook 
bringing in the dish accordingly Monsieur Faiel 
commanded all to avoid the room, and began a 



OF JAMES HOWELL 213 

serious discourse with his wife, how, ever since he 
had married her, he observed she was always mel- 
ancholy, and he feared she was inclining to a con- 
sumption, therefore he had provided for her a very 
precious cordial, which he was well assured would 
cure her. Thereupon he made her eat up the 
whole dish ; and afterwards much importuning him 
to know what it was, he told her at last she had 
eaten Coucy's heart, and so drew the box out of 
his pocket, and showed her the note and the 
bracelet. In a sudden exaltation of joy she, with 
a far-fetched sigh, said, "This is precious indeed," 
and so licked the dish, saying, " It is so precious 
that 't is pity to put ever any meat upon *t." So 
she went to bed, and in the morning she was found 
stone-dead. 

This gentleman told me that this sad story is 
painted in Coucy Castle, and remains fresh to this 
day. 

In my opinion, which vails to yours, this is choice 
and rich stuff for you to put upon your loom and 
make a curious web of. 

I thank you for the last regalo you gave me at 
your museum, and for the good company. I heard 
you censured lately at court that you have lighted 
too foul upon Sir Inigo, and that you write with 
a porcupine quill dipped in too much gall. Excuse 
me that I am so free with you ; it is because I am 
in no common way of friendship yours, 

J. H. 

Westminster, 3 of May 1635. 



2i 4 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

XXI 

To Captain Tho. Porter 

Noble Captain, 

YOU are well returned from Brussels, from 
attending your brother in that noble em- 
ployment of congratulating the Infante Cardinal's 
coming thither. It was well Monsieur went a-hawk- 
ing away before to France, for I think those two 
young spirits would not have agreed. A French- 
man told me lately, that was at your audience, that 
he never saw so many complete gentlemen in his 
life for the number, and in a neater equipage. Be- 
fore you go to sea I intend to wait on you, and 
give you a frolic. So I am, " De todas mis entranas," 
yours to dispose of, J. H. 

To this I '11 add the Duke of Ossuna's com- 
pliment — 

Quisiere, aunque soy chico 
Ser, enserville gigante. 

Though of the tallest I am none, you see, 
Yet to serve you I would a giant be. 

Westminster, i November 1634. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 215 

XXII 

To my Cousin, Captain Saintgeon 

Noble Cousin, 

THE greatest news about the town is of a 
mighty prize that was taken lately by Peter 
van Heyn of Holland, who had met some strag- 
gling ships of the Plate Fleet, and brought them 
to the Texel. They speak of a million of crowns. 
I could wish you had been there to have shared 
of the booty, which was the greatest in money that 
ever was taken. 

One sent me lately from Holland this distich 
of Peter van Heyn, which savours of a little pro- 
faneness : 

Roma sui sileat posthac miracula Petri, 
Petrus apud Batavos plura stupenda facit. 

Let Rome no more her Peter's wonders tell, 
For wonders Holland's Peter bears the bell. 

To this distich was added this anagram, which 
is a good one : 

Petrus hainus, 
Hispanus met. 

— So I rest, "Totus tuus," yours whole, 
Westminster, 10 July. J. Howell. 



216 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

XXIII 

To my Lord Viscount S. 

My Lord, 

HIS MAJESTY is lately returned from Scot- 
land, having given that nation satisfaction 
to their long desires to have him come hither 
to be crowned. I hear some mutter at Bishop 
Laud's carriage there, that it was too haughty and 
pontifical. 

Since the death of the King of Sweden a great 
many Scotch commanders are come over, and 
make a shining show at court. What trade they 
will take hereafter I know not, having been so 
inured to the wars. I pray God keep us from 
commotions at home betwixt the two kingdoms, 
to find them work. I hear one Colonel Leslie is 
gone away discontented because the King would 
not lord him. 

The old rotten Duke of Bavaria, for he hath 
divers issues about his body, hath married one 
of the Emperor's sisters, a young lady little above 
twenty, and he near upon four score. There 's 
another remaining who, they say, is intended for 
the King of Poland, notwithstanding his pretences 
to the young Lady Elizabeth, about which Prince 
Razevill and other ambassadors have been here 
lately; but that King being elective, must marry 
as the Estates will have him. His mother was the 



OF JAMES HOWELL 217 

Emperor's sister, therefore sure he will not offer 
to marry his cousin-german ; but 't is no news for 
the House of Austria to do so, to strengthen 
their race. And if the Bavarian hath male issue 
of this young lady, the son is to succeed him in 
the Electorship, which may conduce much to 
strengthen the continuance of the Empire in the 
Austrian family. — So with a constant perseverance 
of my hearty desires to serve your lordship, I 
rest, my lord, your most humble servitor, 

J.H. 
Westminster, 7 September, 

XXIV 

To my Cousin Mr Will. Saint- Geon, at St 
Omer 

Cousin, 

1WAS lately in your father's company, and 
I found him much discontented at the course 
you take, which he not only protests against, but 
he vows never to give you his blessing, if you per- 
severe in it. I would wish you to descend into 
yourself, and seriously ponder, what a weight a 
father's blessing or curse carries with it ; for there 
is nothing conduceth more to the happiness or 
infelicity of the child. Amongst the Ten Com- 
mandments in the Decalogue, that which enjoins 
obedience from children to parents hath only a 
benediction (of longevity) added to it. There be 



218 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

clouds of examples for this, but one I will instance 
in. When I was in Valentia in Spain, a gentleman 
told me of a miracle which happened in that town, 
which was, that a proper young man under 
twenty was executed there for a crime, and before 
he was taken down from off the tree, there were 
many grey and white hairs had budded forth of 
his chin, as if he had been a man of sixty. It 
struck amazement in all men, but this interpreta- 
tion was made of it : that the said young man 
might have lived to such an age if he had been 
dutiful to his parents, unto whom he had been 
barbarously disobedient all his lifetime. 

There comes herewith a large letter to you 
from your father. Let me advise you to conform 
your courses to his counsel, otherwise it is an easy 
matter to be a prophet what misfortunes will in- 
evitably befall you, which by a timely obedience 
you may prevent, and I wish you may have grace 
to do it accordingly.- — So I rest, your loving, well- 
wishing cousin, J. H. 

London, i of May 1634. 

XXV 

To the Lord Deputy of Ireland 

My Lord, 

THE Earl of Arundel is lately returned from 
Germany, and his gallant comportment in 
that embassy deserved to have had better success. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 219 

He found the Emperor conformable, but the old 
Bavarian froward, who will not part with anything 
till he have moneys reimbursed which he spent 
in these wars, and for which he hath the Upper 
Palatinate in deposit 0, insomuch, that in all prob- 
ability all hopes are cut off of ever recovering that 
country, but by the same means that it was taken 
away, which was by the sword. Therefore they 
write from Holland of a new army, which the 
Prince Palatine is like to have shortly, to go up 
to Germany and push on his fortunes with the 
Swedes. 

The French King hath taken Nancy, and al- 
most all Lorraine lately, but he was forced to put 
a fox tail to the lion's skin, which his cardinal 
helped him to before he could do the work. The 
quarrel is that the duke should marry his sister 
to Monsieur, contrary to promise, that he sided 
with the Imperialists against his confederates in 
Germany, that he neglected to do homage for the 
Duchy of Bar. 

My Lord Viscount Savage is lately dead, who 
is very much lamented by all that knew him. I 
could have wished had it pleased God, that his 
father-in-law, who is riper for the other world, 
had gone before him. — So I rest, your lordship's 
most humble and ready servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 6 April, 



22o FAMILIAR LETTERS 



XXVI 

To his honoured friend Mistress C, at her 
house in Essex 

THERE was no sorrow sunk deeper into me 
a great while, than that which I conceived 
upon the death of my dear friend your husband. 
The last office I could do him, was to put him 
in his grave, and I am sorry to have met others 
there (who had better means to come in a coach 
with six horses than I) in so mean equipage to 
perform the last act of respect to so worthy a 
friend. I have sent you herewith an elegy which 
my melancholy muse hath breathed out upon his 
hearse. I shall be very careful about the tomb 
you intend him, and will think upon an epitaph. 
I pray present my respects to Mrs Anne Mayne. 
So wishing you all comfort and contentment, I rest, 
yours most ready to be commanded, J. H. 
London, 5 March, 

XXVII 

To Mr James Howard upon his Banished Virgin, 
translated out of Italian 

1 RECEIVED the manuscript you sent me, and 
being a little curious to compare it with the 
original I find the version to be very exact and 



OF JAMES HOWELL 221 

faithful. So according to your friendly request I 

havf* c<=»nt unn fVii«j Hprastif h_ 



have sent you this decastich. 



Some hold translations not unlike to be 

The wrong side of a Turkey tapestry; 

Or wines drawn off the lees, which filled in flask, 

Lose somewhat of their strength they had in cask. 

*T is true each language hath an idiom, 
Which in another couched comes not so home; 
Yet I ne'er saw a piece from Venice come 
Had fewer thrums set on our country loom. 
This wine is still un-eared, and brisk, though put 
Out of Italian cask in English butt. 

Upon Your Eromena. 

Fair Eromena in her Tuscan tyre 

I viewed, and liked the fashion wondrous well, 

But in this English habit I admire, 

That still in her the same good grace should dwell; 

So I have seen trans-Alpine scions grow 
And bear rare fruit, removed to Thames from Po. 

Your true servitor and compatriot, J. H. 
London, 6 October 1632. 

XXVIII 

To Edward Noy> Esq., at Paris 

1 RECEIVED one of yours lately, and I am 
glad to find the delight that travel begins to 
instil into you. 

My Lord Ambassador Aston reckons upon you 
that you will be one of his train at his first audi- 



222 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

ence in Madrid, and to my knowledge he hath put 
by some gentlemen of quality. Therefore I pray 
let not that dirty town of Paris detain you too long 
from your intended journey to Spain, for I make 
account my Lord Aston will be there a matter of 
two months hence. So I rest your most affectionate 
servitor, J. H. 

London, 5 May 1633. 

XXIX 

To the Right Honourable Sir Peter Wicks, Lo. 9 
Ambassador at Constantinople 

My Lord, 

IT seems there is some angry star that hath hung 
over this business of the Palatinate from the 
beginning of these German wars to this very day, 
which will too evidently appear, if one should mark 
and deduce matters from their first rise. 

You may remember how poorly Prague was lost. 
The Bishop of Halverstat and Count Mansfeld 
shuffled up and down a good while and did great 
matters, but all came to nothing at last. You may 
remember how one of the ships-royal was cast away 
in carrying over the last, and the 12,000 men he 
had hence perished, many of them very miserably, 
and he himself, as they write, died in a poor hos- 
telry with one lacquey, as he was going to Venice 
to a bank of money he had stored up there for a 
dead lift. Your lordship knows what success the 



OF JAMES HOWELL 223 

King of Denmark had (and our 6000 men under 
Sir Charles Morgan), for while he thought to make 
new acquests, he was in hazard to lose all that he 
had, had not he had favourable propositions ten- 
dered him. There were never poor Christians per- 
ished more lamentably than those 6000 we sent 
under M. Hamilton for the assistance of the King 
of Sweden, who did much, but you know what 
became of him at last, how disastrously the Prince 
Palatine himself fell, and in what an ill conjuncture 
of time, being upon the very point of being restored 
to his country. 

But now we have as bad news as any we had yet, 
for the young Prince Palatine and his brother 
Prince Rupert having got a jolly considerable army 
in Holland to try their fortunes in Germany with 
the Swedes, they had advanced as far as Miinster- 
land and Westphalia, and having lain before Len- 
gua, they were forced to raise the siege ; and one 
General Hatzfeld pursuing them, there was a sore 
battle fought, wherein Prince Rupert, my Lord 
Craven, and others were taken prisoners. The 
Prince Palatine himself with Major King, thinking 
to get over the Weser in a coach, the water being 
deep and not fordable, he saved himself by the 
help of a willow, and so went a-foot all the way to 
Munden, the coach and coachman being drowned 
in the river. There were near upon 2000 slain on 
the Palgrave's side, and- scarce the twentieth part so 
many on Hatzfeld's. Major Gaeuts, one of the 
chief commanders, was killed. 



224 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

I am sorry I must write unto you this sad story ; 
yet to countervail it something, Saxe-Weimar 
thrives well, and is like to get Brisac by help of the 
French forces. All your friends here are well and 
remember your lordship often, but none more oft 
than your most humble and ready servitor, J. H. 
London, 5 June 1635. 

XXX 

To Sir Sackvil C, Knight 

I WAS as glad that you have lighted upon so 
excellent a lady as if an astronomer by his optics 
had found out a new star ; and if a wife be the 
best or the worst fortune of a man, certainly you 
are one of the fortunatest men in this island. 

The greatest news I can write unto you is of a 
bloody banquet that was lately at Liege, where a 
great faction was fomenting betwixt the Imperial- 
ists and those that were devoted to France, amongst 
whom one Ruelle, a popular burgomaster, was 
chief. The Count of Warfuzee, a vassal of the 
King of Spain's, having fled thither from Flanders 
for some offence, to ingratiate himself again into 
the King of Spain's favour, invited the said Ruelle 
to a feast and after brought him into a private 
chamber, where he had provided a ghostly father 
to confess him, and so some of the soldiers whom 
he had provided before to guard the house, des- 
patched the burgomaster. The town, hearing this, 



OF JAMES HOWELL 225 

broke into the house, cut to pieces the said count 
with some of his soldiers, and dragged his body 
up and down the streets. You know such a fate 
befell Walstein in Germany of late years, who hav- 
ing got all the Emperor's forces into his hands, 
was found to have intelligence with the Swede, 
therefore the imperial ban was not only pronounced 
against him, but a reward promised to any that 
should despatch him. Some of the Emperor's sol- 
diers at a great wedding in Egra, of which band 
of soldiers Colonel Buttler, an Irishman, was chief, 
broke into his lodging when he was at dinner, 
killed him, with three commanders more that were 
at the table with him, and threw his body out at 
a window into the streets. 

I hear Buttler is made since Count of the Em- 
pire. — So humbly kissing your noble lady's hand, 
I rest your faithful servitor, J. H. 

London, 5 June 1634. 

XXXI 

To Dr Duppa, L.B. of Chichester, His High- 
ness' tutor at St James 

My Lord, 

IT is a well-becoming and very worthy work 
you are about not to suffer Mr Ben Johnson 
to go so silently to his grave or rot so suddenly. 
Being newly come to town and understanding 
that your " Johnsonus Virbius " was in the press, 



2a6 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

upon the solicitation to Sir Thomas Hawkins, I 
suddenly fell upon the ensuing decastitch, which, 
if your lordship please, may have room amongst the 
rest. 

Upon My Honoured Friend and F., Mr Ben Johnson 

And is thy glass run out, is that oil spent 
Which light to such strong sinewy labours lent ? 
Well, Ben ; I now perceive that all the nine, 
Though they their utmost forces should combine, 
Cannot prevail 'gainst night's three daughters, but 
One still must spin, one wind, the other cut, 
Yet in despite of distaff, clue and knife, 
Thou in thy strenuous lines hast got a life, 
Which like thy bays shall flourish ev'ry age, 
While soc or buskin shall attend the stage, 
Sic vaticinatur Hoellus. 

So I rest, with many devoted respects to your 
lordship, as being your very humble servitor, 

J. H. 
London, i May 1636. 

XXXII 

To Sir Ed. B., Knight 

1 RECEIVED yours this Maunday-Thursday, 
and whereas amongst other passages and high 
endearments of love, you desire to know what 
method I observe in the exercise of my devotions, 
I thank you for your request, which I have reason 
to believe doth proceed from an extraordinary 



OF JAMES HOWELL 227 

respect unto me ; and I will deal with you herein, 
as one should do with his confessor. 

It is true, though there be rules and rubrics in 
our liturgy sufficient to guide every one in the 
performance of all holy duties, yet I believe every 
one hath some mode and model or formulary of 
his own, especially for his private cubicular devo- 
tions. 5 

I will begin with the last day of the week, and 
with the latter end of that day, I mean Saturday 
evening, on which I have fasted ever since I was 
a youth in Venice, for being delivered from a very 
great danger. This year I use some extraordinary 
acts of devotion to usher in the ensuing Sunday 
in hymns and various prayers of my own penning, 
before I go to bed. On Sunday morning I rise 
earlier than upon other days, to prepare myself 
for the sanctifying of it ; nor do I use barber, 
tailor, shoemaker, or any other mechanic that 
morning ; and whatsoever diversions or lets may 
hinder me the week before, I never miss, but in 
case of sickness to repair to God's holy house that 
day, where I come before prayers begin, to make 
myself fitter for the work by some previous medi- 
tations, and to take the whole service along with 
me ; nor do I love to mingle speech with any in 
the interim about news or worldly negotiations 
in God's holy house ; I prostrate myself in the 
humblest and decentest way of genuflection I can 
imagine ; nor do I believe there can be any excess 
of exterior humility in that place ; therefore I do 



228 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

not like those squatting, unseemly bold postures 
upon one's tail, or muffling the face in the hat, or 
thrusting it in some hole, or covering it with one's 
hand ; but with bended knee and an open con- 
fident face, I fix my eyes on the east part of the 
church and heaven. I endeavour to apply every 
tittle of the service to my own conscience and 
occasions, and I believe the want of this, with the 
huddling up, and careless reading of some minis- 
ters, with the commonness of it, is the greatest 
cause that many do undervalue, and take a surfeit 
of our public service. 

For the reading and singing psalms, whereas 
most of them are either petitions or eucharistical 
ejaculations, I listen to them more attentively and 
make them my own. When I stand at the creed, 
I think upon the custom they have in Poland 
and elsewhere, for gentlemen to draw their swords 
all the while, intimating thereby, that they will 
defend it with their lives and blood. And for the 
Decalogue, whereas others use to rise and sit, I 
ever kneel at it in the humblest and tremblingest 
posture of all, to crave remission for the breaches 
past of any of God's holy commandments (espe- 
cially the week before), and future grace to observe 
them. 

I love a holy, devout sermon, that first checks 
and then cheers the conscience, that begins with 
the law and ends with the gospel; but I never 
prejudicate or censure any preacher, taking him 
as I find him. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 229 

And now that we are not only adulted, but 
ancient Christians, I .believe the most acceptable 
sacrifice we can send up to heaven is prayer and 
praise, and that sermons are not so essential as 
either of them to the true practice of devotion. 
The rest of the holy Sabbath I sequester my 
body and mind as much as I can from worldly 
affairs. 

Upon Monday morn, as soon as the Cinque 
Ports are open, I have a particular prayer of 
thanks, that I am reprieved to the beginning 
of that week; and every day following I knock 
thrice at heaven's gate, in the morning, in the 
evening, and at night; besides prayers at meals, 
and some other occasional ejaculations, as upon 
the putting on of a clean shirt, washing my hands, 
and at lighting of candles, which because they are 
sudden, I do in the third person. 

Tuesday morning, I rise winter and summer as 
soon as I awake, and send up a more particular 
sacrifice for some reasons ; and as I am disposed 
or have business, I go to bed again. 

Upon Wednesday night I always fast, and per- 
form also some extraordinary acts of devotion, as 
also upon Friday night; and Saturday morning, 
as soon as my senses are unlocked, I get up. 
And in the summer time I am oftentimes abroad 
in some private field to attend the sun-rising. 
And as I pray thrice every day so I fast thrice 
every week, at least I eat but one meal upon 
Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, in regard I 



2 3 o FAMILIAR LETTERS 

am jealous with myself, to have more infirmities 
to answer for than others. 

Before I go to bed I make a scrutiny what 
peccant humours have reigned in me that day, and 
so I reconcile myself to my Creator and strike a 
tally in the exchequer of heaven for my quietus est 
ere I close my eyes, and leave no burden upon 
my conscience. 

Before I presume to take the Holy Sacrament 
I use some extraordinary acts of humiliation to 
prepare myself some days before, and by doing 
some deeds of charity; and commonly I compose 
some new prayers, and divers of them written in 
my own blood. 

I use not to rush rashly into prayer without 
a trembling precedent meditation, and if any odd 
thoughts intervene and grow upon me, I check 
myself and recommence; and this is incident to 
long prayers, which are more subject to man's 
weakness and the devil's malice. 

I thank God I have this fruit of my foreign 
travels that I can pray unto Him every day of 
the week in a several language, and upon Sunday 
in seven, which in orisons of my own I punctually 
perform in my private Pomeridian devotions. 

Et sic aeternam contendo attingere vitam. 

By these steps I strive to climb up to heaven, 
and my soul prompts me I shall go thither ; for there 
is no object in the world delights me more than 
to cast up my eyes that way, especially in a star- 



OF JAMES HOWELL 231 

light night; and if my mind be overcast with any 
odd clouds of melancholy when I look up and 
behold that glorious fabric, which I hope shall be 
my country hereafter, there are new spirits begot 
in me presently, which make me scorn the world 
and the pleasures thereof, considering the vanity 
of the one and the inanity of the other. 

Thus my soul still moves eastward, as all the 
heavenly bodies do ; but I must tell you, that as 
those bodies are over-mastered, and snatched away 
to the West, raptu primi mobilis, by the general 
motion of the tenth sphere, so by those epidemical 
infirmities which are incident to man, I am often 
snatched away a clean contrary course, yet my 
soul persists still in her own proper motion. I am 
often at variance and angry with myself (nor do 
I hold this anger to be any breach of charity) 
when I consider that whereas my Creator intended 
this body of mine, though a lump of clay, to be 
a temple of His Holy Spirit, my affections should 
turn it often to a brothel-house, my passions to 
a Bedlam, and my excesses to an hospital. 

Being of a lay profession, I humbly conform to 
the constitutions of the Church and my spiritual 
superiors, and I hold this obedience to be an ac- 
ceptable sacrifice to God. 

Difference in opinion may work a disaffection 
in me, but not a detestation. I rather pity than 
hate Turk or Infidel, for they are of the same 
metal and bear the same stamp as I do, though 
the inscriptions differ. If I hate any, it is those 



232 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

schismatics that puzzle the sweet peace of our 
Church, so that I could be content to see an 
Anabaptist go to hell on a Brownist's back. 

Noble knight, now that I have thus eviscerated 
myself, and dealt so clearly with you, I desire by 
way of correspondence that you would tell me 
what way you take in your journey to heaven, for 
if my breast lie so open to you, 't is not fitting 
yours should be shut up to me ; therefore I pray 
let me hear from you when it may stand with your 
convenience. 

So I wish you your heart's desire here, and 
heaven hereafter, because I am yours in no vulgar 
way of friendship, J. H. 

London, 25 July 1635. 

XXXIII 

Ti? Simon Digby, Esquire, at Mosco, the 
Emperor of Russia* s Court 

I RECEIVED one of yours by Mr Pickhurst, 
and I am glad to find that the rough clime of 
Russia agrees so well with you — so well, as you 
write, as the Catholic air of Madrid, or the Impe- 
rial air of Vienna, where you had such honourable 
employments. 

The greatest news we have here is that we have 
a Bishop Lord Treasurer ; and 't is news indeed in 
these times, though *t was no news you know in the 
times of old to have a Bishop Lord Treasurer of 



OF JAMES HOWELL 233 

England. I believe he was merely passive in this 
business. The active instrument that put the white 
staffin his hands was the Metropolitan at Lambeth. 
I have other news also to tell you. We have a 
brave new ship, a royal galleon ; the like, they say, 
did never spread sail upon salt water, take her true 
and well compacted symmetry, with all dimensions, 
together. For her burden, she hath as many tons 
as there were years since the Incarnation, when she 
was built, which are sixteen hundred thirty and 
six ; she is in length one hundred twenty and 
seven feet ; her greatest breadth within the planks 
is forty-six feet and six inches ; her depth from 
the breadth is nineteen feet and four inches ; she 
carrieth a hundred pieces of ordnance wanting four, 
whereof she hath three tier ; half a score men may 
stand in her lantern ; the charges His Majesty hath 
been at in the building of her are computed to be 
fourscore thousand pounds, one whole year's ship 
money. Sir Robert Mansel launched her, and by 
His Majesty's command called her the Sovereign 
of the Sea, Many would have had her to be named 
the Edgar > who was one of the most famous Saxon 
kings this island had, and the most potent at sea. 
Ranulphus Cestrensis writes that he had four hun- 
dred ships, which every year after Easter went out in 
fourfleets to scour the coasts. Another author writes 
that he had four kings to row him once upon the 
Dee. But the title he gave himself was a notable 
lofty one, which was this : " Altitonantis Dei lar- 
giflua dementia qui est Rex Regum, Ego Edgar- 



234 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

dus Anglorum Basilius, omnium Regum, Insula- 
runij Oceanique Britanniam circumjacentis, cuncta- 
rumque Nationum quae infra earn includuntur, 
Imperator et Dominus, etc." I do not think your 
grand Emperor of Russia hath a loftier title. I 
confess the Sophy of Persia hath a higher one, 
though profane and ridiculous in comparison of 
this, for he calls himself " The Star high and 
mighty, whose head is covered with the Sun, whose 
motion is comparable to the ethereal firmament, 
Lord of the Mountains Caucasus and Taurus, 
of the four rivers, Epuhrates, Tigris, Araxis and 
Indus ; Bud of honour, Mirror of virtue, Rose of 
delight and Nutmeg of comfort. ,, It is a huge 
descent, methinks, to begin with a star and end 
in a nutmeg. 

All your friends here in court and city are well, 
and often mindful of you, with a world of good 
wishes, and you cannot be said to be out of Eng- 
land as long as you live in so many noble memo- 
ries. Touching mine, you have a large room in't, 
for you are one of my chief inmates ; so with my 
humble service to your lady, I rest, your most 
faithful servitor while J. H. 

London, i July 1635. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 235 

XXXIV 

To Dr Tho. Prichard 

Dear Dr., 

I HAVE now had too long a supersedeas from 
employment, having engaged myself to a fatal 
man at court (by his own seeking), who I hoped, 
and had reasons to expect (for I waived all other 
ways) that he would have been a scale towards my 
rising, but he hath rather proved an instrument to 
my ruin. It may be he will prosper accordingly. 

I am shortly bound for Ireland, and it may be 
the stars will cast a more benign aspect upon me 
in the west ; you know who got the Persian Empire 
by looking that way for the first beams of the sun- 
rising, rather than towards the east. 

My Lord Deputy hath made often professions 
to do me a pleasure, and I intend now to put him 
upon it. 

I purpose to pass by the Bath for a pain I have 
in my arm proceeding from adefluxtion of rheum, 
and then I will take Brecknock in my way, to 
comfort my sister Penry, who I think hath lost one 
of the best husbands in all the thirteen shires of 
Wales. 

So with appreciation of all happiness to you, 
I rest, yours while J. H. 

London, 10 February 1637. 



236 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

XXXV 

To Sir Kenelme Digby, Knight, from Bath 

YOUR being then in the country when I be- 
gan my journey for Ireland was the cause I 
could not kiss your hands, therefore I shall do 
now from Bath what I should have done at 
London. 

Being here for a distillation of rheum that pains 
me in one of my arms, and having had about 
three thousand strokes of a pump upon me in the 
Queen's Bath, and having been here now divers 
days, and viewed the several qualities of these 
waters, I fell to contemplate a little what should 
be the reason of such extraordinary actual heat and 
medicinal virtue in them. I have seen and read 
of divers baths abroad, as those of Cadanel and 
Avinian in Lagro Senensi, the Grotta in Vicerbio, 
those between Naples and Puteolum in Campania ; 
and I have been a little curious to know the reason 
of those rare lymphatical properties in them above 
other waters. I find that some impute it to wind 
or air, or some exhalations shut up in the bowels 
of the earth, which either by their own nature, or 
by their violent motion and agitation, or attrition 
upon rocks, and narrow passages do gather heat, 
and so impart it to the waters. 

Others attribute this balneal heat unto the sun, 
whose all-searching beams penetrating the pores 
of the earth, do heat the waters. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 237 

Others think this heat to proceed from quick- 
lime, which by common experience we find to 
heat any waters cast upon it, and also to kindle 
any combustible substance put upon it. 

Lastly, there are some that ascribe this heat to 
a subterranean fire kindled in the bowels of the 
earth upon sulphury and bituminous matter. 

It is true all these may be general concurring 
causes, but not the adequate, proper and peculiar 
reason of balneal heats ; and herein truly our 
learned countryman Dr Jordan hath got the start 
of any that ever wrote of this subject, and goes to 
work like a solid philosopher; for having treated 
of the generation of minerals, he finds that they 
have their seminaries in the womb of the earth 
replenished with active spirits, which, meeting 
with apt matter and adjuvant causes, do proceed 
to the generation of several species, according to 
the nature of the efficient and fitness of the 
matter. In this work of generation, as there is 
generatio unius, so there is corruptio alterius; and 
this cannot be done without a superior power, 
which by moisture dilating itself, works upon the 
matter like a leavening and ferment to bring it to 
its own purpose. 

This motion betwixt the agent spirit and patient 
matter produceth an actual heat; for motion is the 
fountain of heat, which serves as an instrument to 
advance the work, for as cold dulls, so heat quick- 
eneth all things. Now for the nature of this heat; 
it is not a destructive violent heat, as that of fire, 



d 3 8 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

but a generative gentle heat joined with moisture, 
nor needs it air for ventilation. This natural heat 
is daily observed by digging in the mines ; so, 
then, while minerals are thus engendering, and 
in solutis principiis in their liquid forms and not 
consolidated into hard bodks (for then they have 
not that virtue), they impart heat to the neigh- 
bouring waters. So then it may be concluded, that 
this soil about the bath is a mineral vein of earth, 
and the fermenting gentle temper of generative 
heat that goes to the production of the said min- 
erals doth impart and actually communicate this 
balneal virtue and medicinal heat to these waters. 

This subject of mineral waters would afford an 
ocean of matter were one to compile a solid dis- 
course of it. And I pray excuse me that I have 
presumed in so narrow a compass as a letter to 
comprehend so much, which is nothing, I think, 
in comparison of what you know already of this 
matter. 

So I take my leave and humbly kiss your hands, 
being always your lordship's most faithful and 
ready servant, J. H. 

From the Bath, 3 July 1638. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 239 



XXXVI 

From Dublin to Sir Ed. Savage, Knight, at 
Tower Hill 

I AM come safely to Dublin over an angry 
boisterous sea. Whether 't was my voyage on 
salt-water, or change of air, being now under 
another clime, which was the cause of it, I know 
not, but I am suddenly freed of the pain in my 
arm, when neither bath, nor plaisters, and other 
remedies could do me good. 

I delivered your letter to Mr James Dillon, 
but nothing can be done in that business till your 
brother Pain comes to town. I meet here with 
divers of my\ northern friends whom I knew at 
York. Here is a most splendid court kept at the 
castle, and except that of the Viceroy of Naples 
I have not seen the like in Christendom, and in 
one point of grandeur the Lord Deputy here goes 
beyond him, for he can confer honours and dub 
knights, which that viceroy cannot, or any other 
I know of. Traffic increaseth here wonderfully, 
with all kind of bravery and buildings. 

I made a humble motion to my lord that in 
regard businesses of all sorts did multiply here 
daily, and that there was but one clerk of the 
council (Sir Paul Davis) who was able to despatch 
business (Sir William Usher, his colleague, being 
very aged and bedrid), his lordship would please 



a 4 o FAMILIAR LETTERS 

to think of me. My lord gave me an answer full 
of good respects to succeed Sir William after his 
death. 

No more now, but with my most affectionate 
respects unto you I rest, your faithful servitor, 

J.H. 

Dublin, 3 May 1639. 

XXXVII 

To Dr Usher, Lo. Primate of Ireland 

MAY it please your grace to accept of my 
most humble acknowledgments for those 
noble favours I received at Drogheda, and that 
you pleased to communicate unto me those rare 
manuscripts in so many languages, and divers 
choice authors in your library. 

Your learned work, " De primordiis Ecclesia- 
rum Britannicarum," which you pleased to send 
me, I have sent to England, and so it shall be 
conveyed to Jesus College in Oxford as a gift from 
your grace. 

I hear that Cardinal Barberino, one of the Pope's 
nephews, is setting forth the works of Fastidius, 
a British bishop, called " De Vita Christiana." It 
was written 300 years after our Saviour, and Hol- 
stenius hath the bare of the impression. 

I was lately looking for a word in Suidas, and 
I lighted upon a strange passage in the name 
'lyjo-ovs, that in the reign of Justinian the Emperor, 



OF JAMES HOWELL 241 

one Theodosius, a Jew, a man of great authority, 
lived in Jerusalem, with whom a rich goldsmith, 
who was a Christian, was much in favour, and very 
familiar. The goldsmith, in private discourse, 
told him one day, that he wondered he, being a 
man of such a great understanding, did not turn 
Christian, considering how he found all the pro- 
phecies of the law so evidently accomplished in 
our Saviour, and our Saviour's prophecies accom- 
plished since. Theodosius answered, that it did 
not stand with his security and continuance in 
authority to turn Christian, but he had a long time 
a good opinion of that religion, and he would 
discover a secret unto him which was not yet come 
to the knowledge of any Christian. It was, that 
when the temple was founded in Jerusalem there 
were twenty-two priests, according to the number 
of the Hebrew letters, to officiate in the temple, 
and when any was chosen, his name, with his 
father's and mother's, were used to be registered 
in a fair book. In the time of Christ a priest died, 
and he was chosen in his place ; but when his 
name was to be entered, his father Joseph being 
dead, his mother was sent for, who being asked 
who was his father, she answered, that she never 
knew man, but that she conceived by an angel. 
So his name was registered in these words : JE- 
SUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD AND 
OF THE VIRGIN MARY. This record at 
the destruction of the temple was preserved, 
and is to be seen in Tiberias to this day. I hum- 



<2 4 2 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

bly desire your grace's opinion hereof in your 
next. 

They write to me from England of rare news 
in France, which is, that the Queen is delivered of 
a dauphin, the wonderfullest thing of this kind 
that any story can parallel, for this is the three- 
and-twentieth year since she was married, and hath 
continued childless all this while, so that now 
Monsieur's cake is dough, and I believe he will 
be more quiet hereafter. — So I rest, your grace's 
most devoted servant, J. H. 

Dublin, i March 1639. 

XXXVIII 

To my Lord Clifford; from Edinburgh 

My Lord, 

I HAVE seen now all the King of Great Bri- 
tain's dominions ; and he is a good traveller that 
hath seen all his dominions. I was born in Wales. 
I have been in ail the four corners of England, I 
have traversed the diameter of France more than 
once, and now I am come through Ireland into 
this kingdom of Scotland. This town of Edin- 
burgh is one of the fairest streets that ever I saw 
(excepting that of Palermo in Sicily) ; it is about 
a mile long, coming sloping down from the Castle 
(called of old the Castle of Virgins, and by Pliny 
Castrum alatum) to the Holyrood House, now 
the Royal Palace ; and these two begin and 



OF JAMES HOWELL 243 

terminate the town. I am come hither in a very- 
convenient time, for here is a National Assembly 
and a Parliament, my Lord Traquair being His 
Majesty's Commissioner. The bishops are all gone 
to wreck, and they have had but a sorry funeral, 
the very name is grown so contemptible, that a 
black dog if he have any white marks about him 
is called Bishop. Our Lord of Canterbury is 
grown here so odious that they call him commonly 
in the pulpit the Priest of Baal and the Son of 
Belial. 

I '11 tell your lordship of a passage which hap- 
pened lately in my lodging, which is a tavern. I 
had sent for a shoemaker to make me a pair of 
boots, and my landlord, who is a pert smart man, 
brought up a chopin of white wine (and for this 
particular, there are better French wines here than 
in England, and cheaper ; for they are but at a 
groat a quart, and it is a crime of a high nature to 
mingle or sophisticate any wine here). Over this 
chopin of white wine my vintner and shoemaker 
fell into a hot dispute about bishops. The shoe- 
maker grew very furious and called them the fire- 
brands of hell, the panders of the whore of Baby- 
lon, and the instruments of the Devil, and that 
they were of his institution, not of God's. My 
vintner took him up smartly and said : c< Hold, 
neighbour, there ; do not you know as well as I 
that Titus and Timothy were bishops ? That 
our Saviour is entitled the bishop of our souls ? 
That the word bishop is as frequently mentioned 



244 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

in Scripture as the name pastor, elder, or deacon ? 
Then why do you inveigh so bitterly against 
them?" The shoemaker answered: " I know 
the name and office to be good, but they have 
abused it." My vintner replies: " Well, then, 
you are a shoemaker by your profession : imagine 
that you, or a hundred, or a thousand, or a hun- 
dred thousand of your trade should play the 
knaves, and sell calfskin-leather boots for neat's- 
leather, or do other cheats, must we therefore go 
barefoot ? Must the gentle craft of shoemakers 
fall therefore to the ground ? It is the fault of the 
men, not of the calling." The shoemaker was so 
gravelled at this, that he was put to his last ; for 
he had not a word more to say, so my vintner 
got the day. 

There is a fair Parliament House built here 
lately, and it was hoped His Majesty would have 
taken the maidenhead of it, and come hither to 
sit in person ; and they did ill who advised him 
otherwise. 

I am to go hence shortly back to Dublin, and 
so to London, where I hope to find your lord- 
ship, that, according to my accustomed boldness, 
I may attend you. In the interim I rest your 
lordship's most humble servitor, J. H. 

Edinburgh, 1639. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 245 

XXXIX 

To Sir K. Digby, Knight 

I THANK you for the good opinion you please 
to have of my fancy of trees. It is a maiden 
one, and not blown upon by any yet. But for 
the merits you please to ascribe unto the author, 
I utterly disclaim any, especially in that proportion 
you please to give them me. It is you that have 
parts enough to complete a whole jury of men. 
Those small perquisites that I have, are thrust up 
into a little narrow lobby, but those perfections 
that beautify your noble soul have a spacious 
palace to walk in, more sumptuous than either 
the Louvre, Seraglio, or Escurial. So I most 
affectionately kiss your hands, being always your 
most faithful servitor, J. H. 

Westminster, 3 December 1639. 



XL 

To Sir Sackvill Crow, His Majesty's Ambas- 
sador at the Post of Constantinople 

Right Honourable Sir, 

THE greatest news we have here now is a 
notable naval fight that was lately betwixt 
the Spaniard and Hollander, in the Downs; but 



246 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

to make it more intelligible, I will deduce the 
business from the beginning. 

The King of Spain had provided a great fleet 
of galleons, whereof the vice-admirals of Naples 
and Portugal were two (whereof he had sent 
advice to England long before). The design was 
to meet with the French fleet, under the com- 
mand of the Archbishop of Bordeaux, and in 
default of that, to land some treasure at Dun- 
kirk, with a recruit of Spaniards which were 
grown very thin in Flanders. These recruits 
were got by an odd trick, for some of the fleet 
being at St Andreas, a report was blown up of 
purpose, that the French were upon the coasts ; 
hereupon all the young men of the country came 
to the seaside, and so a great number of them 
were tumbled a shipboard, and so they set sail 
towards the coasts of France ; but the Archbishop 
it seems had drawn in his fleet. Then striking 
into the narrow seas, they met with a fleet of 
about sixteen Hollanders, whereof they sunk and 
took two, and the rest got away to Holland to 
give an alarm to the States, who in less than a 
month got together a fleet of about one hundred 
sail, and the wind being a long time easterly, 
they came into the Downs, where Don Antonio 
d'Oquendo, the Spanish Admiral, had stayed for 
them all the while. Sir John Pennington was 
then abroad with seven of His Majesty's ships, 
and Don Antonio being daily warned what forces 
were preparing in Zealand and Holland, and so 



OF JAMES HOWELL 247 

advised to get over to the Flemish coasts in the 
interim, with a haughty spirit, he answered, 'Tengo 
de quedarme aqui para castigar estos rebeldes: I will 
stay here to chastise these rebels. There were ten 
more of His Majesty's ships appointed to go join 
with Sir John Pennington to observe the motions 
of those fleets, but the wind continuing still east, 
they could not get out of the river. 

The Spanish fleet had fresh water, victuals, and 
other necessaries from our coasts for their money, 
according to the capitulations of peace, all this 
while. At last, being half surprised by a cloud 
of Hollanders, consisting of one hundred and 
fourteen ships, they launched out from our coasts, 
and a most furious fight began, our ships having 
retired hard by all the while. The Vice-Admiral 
of Portugal, a famous sea captain, Don Lope de 
Hozes, was engaged in close fight with the Vice- 
Admiral of Holland, and after many tough ren- 
counters they were both blown up, and burnt to- 
gether. At last, night came and parted the rest, 
but six Spanish ships were taken, and about 
twenty of the Hollanders perished. Oquendo 
then crossed over to Nardic, and so back to Spain, 
where he died before he came to the court ; and 
it is thought had he lived he had been questioned 
for some miscarriages, for if he had suffered the 
Dunkirkers, who are nimbler and more fit for 
fight, to have had the van, and dealt with the 
Hollander, it is thought matters might have gone 
better with him ; but his ambition was that the 



a 4 8 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

great Spanish galleons should get the glory of 
the day. 

The Spaniards give out that they , had the 
better, in regard they did the main work, for 
Oquendo had conveyed all his recruits and treasure 
to Flanders, while he lay hovering on our coasts. 

One thing is herein very observable, what a 
mighty navigable power the Hollander is come 
to, that in so short a compass of time he could 
appear with such a numerous fleet of one hundred 
and fourteen sails of men-of-war in such a perfect 
equipage. 

The times afford no more at present. Therefore 
with a tender of my most humble service to my 
noble lady, and my thankful acknowledgment for 
those great favours which my brother Edward 
writes to me he hath received from your lordship 
in so singular a manner at that port, desiring you 
would still oblige me with a continuance of them, 
I rest, amongst those multitudes you have left 
behind you in England, your lordship's most 
faithful servitor, J. H. 

London, 3 August 1639. 

XLI 

To Sir J. M. 9 Knight 

1HEAR that you begin to blow the coal, and 
offer sacrifice to Demogorgon, the god of min- 
erals. Be well advised before you engage yourself 



OF JAMES HOWELL 249 

too deep. Chemistry I know, by a little experi- 
ence, is wonderful pleasing for the trial of so many 
rare conclusions it carries with it, but withal it is 
costly, and an enchanting kind of thing, for it hath 
melted many a fair manor in crucibles, and turned 
them to smoke. One presented Sixtus Quintus 
(Sice-cinq, as Queen Elizabeth called him) with 
a book of chemistry, and the Pope gave him an 
empty purse for a reward. 

There be few whom Mercury, the father of 
miracles, doth favour. The Queen of Sheba and 
the King crowned with fire are not propitious to 
many. He that hath water turned to ashes hath 
the magistracy and the true philosopher's stone. 
There be few of those. There be some that com- 
mit fornication in chemistry by heterogeneous and 
sophistical citrinations, but they never come to the 
Phoenix* nest. 

I know you have your share of wisdom, there- 
fore I confess it a presumption in me to give you 
counsel. — So I rest your most faithful servitor, 

j,h. 

Westminster, 1 February 1638. 



050 FAMILIAR LETTERS 



XLII 

To Simon Digby, Esquire, at the Gran Mosco, 
in Russia 

I RETURN you many thanks for your last of 
the first of June, and that you acquaint me 
with the state of things in that country. 

I doubt not but you have heard long since of 
the revolt of Catalonia from the King of Spain. It 
seems the sparkles of those fires are flown to Por- 
tugal and put that country also in combustion. 
The Duke of Braganza, whom you may well re- 
member about the Court of Spain, is now King of 
Portugal, by the name of El Rey Don Juan, and 
he is generally obeyed and quietly settled as if 
he had been king these twenty years there, for the 
whole country fell suddenly to him, not one town 
standing out. When the King of Spain told Oli- 
varez of it first, he slighted it, saying that he was 
but Rey de Havas, a bean-cake king. But it seems 
strange to me, and so strange that it transforms me 
to wonder that the Spaniard, being accounted so 
politic a nation and so full of precaution, could 
not foresee this, especially there being divers intel- 
ligences given and evident symptoms of the gen- 
eral discontentment of that kingdom (because they 
could not be protected against the Hollander in 
Brazil) and of some designs a year before, when 
this Duke of Braganza was at Madrid. I wonder, 



OF JAMES HOWELL 251 

I say, they did not secure his person by engaging 
him in some employment out of the way. Truly 
I thought the Spaniard was better sighted and 
could see farther off than so. You know what a 
huge limb the crown of Portugal was to the Span- 
ish monarchy, by the islands in the Atlantic Sea, 
the towns in Africa and all the East Indies, inso- 
much that the Spaniard hath nothing now left be- 
yond the line. 

There is no offensive war yet made by Spain 
against King John. She only stands upon the de- 
fensive part until the Catalan be reduced ; and I 
believe that will be a long-winded business, for this 
French Cardinal stirs all the devils of hell against 
Spain, insomuch that most men say that these for- 
midable fires which are now raging in both these 
countries were kindled at first by a granado hurled 
from his brain. Nay, some will not stick to say 
that this breach betwixt us and Scotland is a reach 
of his. 

There was a ruthful disaster happened lately at 
sea, which makes our merchants upon the Ex- 
change hang down their heads very sadly. The 
Ship Swan, whereof one Limery was master, hav- 
ing been four years abroad about the Straits, was 
sailing home with a cargazon valued at ^800,000, 
whereof 450,000 was in money, the rest in jewels 
and merchandise ; but being in sight of shore she 
sprang a leak, and being ballasted with salt it 
choked the pump, so that the Swan could swim 
no longer. Some sixteen were drowned and some 



252 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

of them with ropes of pearls about their necks. 
The rest were saved by a Hamburgher not far 
off. The King of Spain loseth little by it (only his 
affairs in Flanders may suffer), for his money was 
insured, and few of the principals, but the insurers 
only, who were most of them Genoese and Hol- 
landers. A most unfortunate chance, for had she 
come to safe port she had been the richest ship that 
ever came into the Thames, so that Neptune never 
had such a morsel at one bit. 

All your friends here are well, as you will un- 
derstand more particularly by those letters that go 
herewith. So I wish you all health and comfort in 
that cold country, and desire that your love may 
continue still in the same degree of heat towards 
your faithful servitor, J. H. 

London, 5 of March 1639. 

XLIII 

To Sir K. D., Knight 

IT was my fortune to be in a late communication 
where a gentleman spoke of a hideous thing 
that happened in High Holborn, how one John 
Pennant, a young man of twenty-one, being dis- 
sected after his death, there was a kind of serpent 
with divers tails found in the left ventricle of his 
heart, which you know is the most defended part, 
being thrice thicker than the right, and in the cell 
which holds the purest and most illustrious liquor, 



OF JAMES HOWELL 253 

the arterial blood, and the vital spirits. This ser- 
pent was, it seems, three years engendering, for so 
long time he found himself indisposed in the 
breast ; and it was observed that his eye in the in- 
terim grew more sharp and fiery, like the eye of 
a cock, which is next to a serpent's eye in redness ; 
so that the symptom of his inward disease might 
have been told by certain exterior rays and signa- 
tures. 

God preserve us from public calamities; for 
serpentine monsters have been often ill-favoured 
presages. I remember in the Roman story to have 
read how, when snakes or serpents were found 
near the statues of their gods — as one time about 
Jupiter's neck, another time about Minerva's thigh 
— there followed bloody civil wars after it. 

I remember also, a few years since, to have read 
the relation and deposition of the carrier of Tewkes- 
bury, who, with divers of his servants, passing a 
little before the dawn of the day with their packs 
over Cots Hill, saw most sensibly and very per- 
spicuously in the air musketeers, harnessed-men, 
and horsemen, moving in battle array, and assault- 
ing one another in divers furious postures. I doubt 
not but that you have heard of those fiery meteors 
and thunderbolts that have fallen upon sundry 
of our Churches, and done hurt. Unless God be 
pleased to make up these ruptures betwixt us and 
Scotland, we are like to have ill days. The Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury was lately outraged in his 
house by a pack of common people; and Captain 



254 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Mohun was pitifully massacred by his own men 
lately ; so that the common people, it seems, have 
strange principles infused into them, which may 
prove dangerous, for I am not of that lord's mind 
who said, " That they who fear any popular insur- 
rection in England are like boys and women that 
are afraid of a turnip cut like a death's head, with 
a candle in it." 

I am shortly for France, and I will receive your 
commands before I go. — So I am your most 
humble servitor, J. H. 

London, 2 May 1640. 

XLIV 

To my Lord Herbert of C berberry ; from Paris 

My Lord, 

I SEND herewith cc Dodona's Grove " couched 
in French, and in the newest French ; for 
though the main version be mine, yet I got one 
of the Academie des beaux Esprits here to run it 
over, to correct and refine the language, and re- 
duce it to the most modern dialect. It took so here, 
that the new Academy of wits have given a public 
and far higher eulogium of it than it deserves. I 
was brought to the Cardinal at Ruelle, where I was 
a good while with him in his private garden, and 
it were a vanity in me to insert here what pro- 
positions he made me. There be some sycophants 
here that idolise him, and I blush to read what 



OF JAMES HOWELL 255 

profane hyperboles are printed up and down of 
him. I will instance in a few : 

Cedite Richelli mortales, cedite Divi, 
Ille homines vincit, vincit et ille Deos. 



Then 



Et si nous faisons des guirlandes, 
C'est pour en couronner un Dieu, 
Qui sous le nom de Richelieu, 
Recoit nos voeus et nos offrandes. 



Then — 



Richelli adventu Rupellae porta patescit, 
Christo Infernales ut patuere fores. 

Certainly he is a rare man, and of a transcend- 
ent reach, and they are rather miracles than ex- 
ploits that he hath done, though those miracles 
be of a sanguine dye (the colour of his habit), 
steeped in blood ; which makes the Spaniard call 
him the grand Caga-fuego of Christendom. Divers 
of the scientificallest and most famous wits here 
have spoken of your Lordship with admiration, 
and of your great work " De Veritate ; " and 
were those excellent notions and theoretical pre- 
cepts actually applied to any particular science, it 
would be an infinite advantage to the common- 
wealth of learning all the world over. — So I 
humbly kiss your hands, and rest, your Lord- 
ship's most faithful servitor, 

j.h. 

Paris, 1 April 1641. 



2 S 6 FAMILIAR LETTERS 



XLV 

To the Right Honourable Mrs Elizabeth 
Altham y now Lady Digby 

THERE be many sad hearts for the loss of my 
Lord Robert Digby ; but the greatest weight 
of sorrow falls upon your Ladyship. Amongst 
other excellent virtues which the world admires 
you for, 1 know your Ladyship to have that 
measure of high discretion that will check your 
passions. I know, also, that your patience hath 
been often exercised, and put to trial in this kind. 
For besides the baron, your father, and Sir James, 
you lost your brother, Master Richard Altham, 
in the verdantest time of his age, a gentleman of 
rare hopes, and I believe this sunk deep into 
your heart; you lost Sir Francis Astley since, a 
worthy virtuous gentleman, and now you have 
lost a noble lord. We all owe Nature a debt, 
which is payable some time or other whensoever 
she demands it. Nor doth Dame Nature use to 
seal indentures, or pass over either lease or patent 
for a set term of years to any. For my part I 
have seen so much of the world, that if she offered 
me a lease, I would give her but a small fine for 
it, especially now that the times have grown so 
naught that people are become more than half 
mad. But, madam, as long as there are men, 
there must be malignant humours, there must be 



OF JAMES HOWELL 257 

vices and vicissitudes of things; as long as the 
world wheels round, there must be tossings and 
tumblings, distractions and troubles, and bad times 
must be recompensed with better. — So I humbly 
kiss your ladyship's hands, and rest, madam, 
your constant servant, J. H. 

York, 1 August 1642. 

XLVI 

To the Honourable Sir P. M. 9 in Dublin 

I AM newly returned from France, and now 
that Sir Edward Nicholas is made Secretary of 
State, I am put in fair hopes, or rather assurances, 
to succeed him in the clerkship of the Council. 

The Duke de la Valette is lately fled hither for 
sanctuary, having had ill luck in Fontarabia; 
they say his process was made, and that he was 
executed in effigy in Paris. It is true he could 
never square well with his Eminence the Cardinal 
(for this is a peculiar title he got long since from 
Rome to distinguish him from all others) nor his 
father neither, the little old Duke of Espernon, 
the ancientest soldier in the world, for he wants 
but one year of a hundred. 

When I was last in Paris I heard of a facetious 
passage betwixt him and the Archbishop of Bor- 
deaux, who in effect is Lord High Admiral of 
France, and it was thus. The archbishop was to 
go general of a great fleet, and the Duke came to 



258 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

his house in Bordeaux one morning to visit him. 
The archbishop sent some of his gentlemen to 
desire him to have a little patience, for he was 
despatching away some sea commanders, and that 
he would wait on him presently. The little duke 
took a pet at it, and went away to his house at 
Cadillac some fifteen miles off. The next morn- 
ing the archbishop came to pay him the visit, and 
to apologise for himself. Being come in, and the 
duke told of it, he sent his chaplain to tell him 
that he was newly fallen upon a chapter of Saint 
Austin's " De Civitate Dei," and when he had 
read that chapter he would come to him. 

Some years before I was told he was at Parjs, 
and Richelieu came to visit him ; he having notice 
of it, Richelieu found him in a cardinal's cap 
kneeling at a table altarwise, with his book and 
beads in his hand and candles burning before 
him. 

I hear the Earl of Leicester is to come shortly 
over, and so over to Ireland to be your deputy. 
No more now, but that I am your most faithful 
servitor, 

J.H. 

London, September 7, 1641. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 259 

XLVII 

To the Earl of B. y from the Fleet 

My Lord, 

I WAS lately come to London upon some occa- 
sions of mine own, and I had been divers times 
in Westminster Hall, where I conversed with 
many Parliament men of my acquaintance, but one 
morning betimes there rushed into my chamber five 
armed men with swords, pistols and bills, and told 
me they had a warrant from the Parliament for 
me. I desired to see their warrant, they denied it ; 
I desired to see the date of it, they denied it ; I 
desired to see my name in the warrant, they de- 
nied all ; at last one of them pulled a greasy paper 
out of his pocket, and showed me only three or 
four names subscribed, and no more. So they 
rushed presently into my closet, and seized on 
all my papers and letters and anything that 
was manuscript, and many printed books they 
took also, and hurled all into a great hair trunk, 
which they carried away with them. I had taken 
a little physic that morning, and with very much 
ado they suffered me to stay in my chamber with 
two guards upon me till evening, at which time 
they brought me before the committee for examin- 
ation, where I confess I found good respect, and 
being brought up to the close committee, I was 
ordered to be forthcoming till some papers of mine 



i6o FAMILIAR LETTERS 

were perused, and Mr Corbet was appointed to do 
it. Some days after I came to Mr Corbet, and 
he told me that he had perused them, and could 
find nothing that might give offence. Hereupon 
I desired him to make a report to the House accord- 
ingly, which (as I was told) he did very fairly ; 
yet such was my hard hap that I was committed 
to the Fleet, where I am now under close restraint. 
And, as far as I see, I must lie at dead anchor in 
this Fleet a long time, unless some gentle gale 
blow thence to make me launch out. God's will 
be done, and amend the times, and make up 
these ruptures which threaten so much calamity. 
— So I am your lordship's most faithful (though 
now afflicted) servitor, 

J.H. 
Fleet, November 20, 1643. 

XLVIII 

To Sir Bevis Thelwall, Knight {Petri ad 
vinculo) , at Peter House in London 

THOUGH we are not in the same prison, yet 
are we in the same predicament of suffrance; 
therefore I presume you are subject to the like fits 
of melancholy as I. The fruition of liberty is not 
so pleasing as a conceit of the want of it is irksome, 
especially to one of such freeborn thoughts as you. 
Melancholy is a black noxious humour, and much 
annoys the whole inward man. If you would 



OF JAMES HOWELL 261 

know what cordial I use against it in this my sad 
condition I'll tell you : I pore sometimes on a book 
and so I make the dead my companions, and this 
is one of my chiefest solaces : if the humour work 
upon me stronger, I rouse my spirits and raise them 
up towards heaven, my future country ; and one 
may be on his journey thither, though shut up in 
prison, and happily go a straighter way than if he 
were abroad. I consider that my soul, while she is 
cooped within these walls of flesh, is but in a kind 
of perpetual prison. And now my body corre- 
sponds with her in the same condition ; my body 
is the prison of the one, and these brick walls the 
prison of the other. And let the English people 
flatter themselves as long as they will that they are 
free, yet are they in effect but prisoners, as all other 
islanders are ; for being surrounded and closed 
about with salt water (as I am with these walls), 
they cannot go where they list, unless they ask 
the wind's leave first, and Neptune must give them 
a pass. 

God Almighty amend the times, and compose 
these woeful divisions, which menace nothing but 
public ruin, the thoughts whereof drown in me the 
sense of mine own private affliction. 

So wishing you courage (whereof you have 
enough if you put it in practice) and patience in 
this sad condition, I rest your true servant and 
compatriot, J. H. 

From the Fleet, August 2, 1643. 



262 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

XLIX 
To Mr E. P. 

1SAW such prodigious things daily done these 
few years past that I had resolved with my- 
self to give over wondering at anything, yet a pass- 
age happened this week that forced me to wonder 
once more, because it is without parallel. It was 
that some odd fellows went skulking up and down 
London streets, and with figs and raisins allured 
little children, and so purloined them away from 
their parents and carried them a shipboard for 
beyond sea, where by cutting their hair and other 
devices they so disguised them that their parents 
could not know them. This made me think upon 
that miraculous passage in Hamelen, a town in 
Germany, which I hoped to have passed through 
when I was in Hamburg, had we returned by 
Holland; which was thus (nor would I relate it 
unto you were there not some ground of truth for 
it) : The said town of Hamelen was annoyed 
with rats and mice ; and it chanced that a pied- 
coated piper came thither who covenanted with 
the chief burghers for such a reward if he could 
free them quite from the said vermin, nor would 
he demand it till a twelvemonth and a day after. 
The agreement being made, he began to play on 
his pipes and all the rats and the mice followed 
him to a great loch hard by, where they all per- 



OF JAMES HOWELL 263 

ished ; so the town was infected no more. At the 
end of the year the pied piper returned for his re- 
ward ; the burghers put him off with slightings 
and neglect, offering him some small matter, 
which he refusing and staying some days in the 
town, on Sunday morning at high mass, when 
most people were at church, he fell to play on his 
pipes, and all the children up and down followed 
him out of the town to a great hill not far off, 
which rent in two and opened, and let him and 
the children in and so closed up again. This hap- 
pened a matter of 250 years since, and in that 
town they date their bills and bonds and other 
instruments in law to this day from the year of 
the going out of their children. Besides there 
is a great pillar of stone at the foot of the said 
hill whereon this story is engraven. 

No more now, for this is enough in conscience 
for one time. So I am your most affectionate 
servitor, J. H. 

Fleet, 1 October 1643. 

L 

To my Lord G. D. 

My Lord, 

THERE be two weighty sayings in Seneca, 
" Nihil est irifelicius eo cui nil unquam 
contigit adversi " (There is nothing more unhappy 
than he who never felt any adversity). The other 



264 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

is, " Nullum est majus malum, quam non posse 
ferre malum " (There is no greater cross than not 
to be able to bear a cross). Touching the first, I 
am not capable of that kind of unhappiness ; for I 
have had my share of adversity, I have been ham- 
mered and dilated upon the anvil, as our country- 
man Breakspeare (Adrian the Fourth) said of 
himself, " I have been strained through the lim- 
bec of affliction." Touching the second, I am also 
free of that cross ; for, I thank God for it, I have 
that portion of grace, and so much philosophy, as 
to be able to endure and confront any misery. It 
is not so tedious to me as to others to be thus im- 
mured, because I have been inured and habituated 
to troubles. That which sinks deepest into me is 
the sense I have of the common calamities of this 
nation : there is a strange spirit hath got in 
amongst us, which makes the idea of holiness the 
formality of good, and the very faculty of reason, 
to be quite differing from what it was. I remem- 
ber to have read a tale of an ape in Paris, which 
having got a child out of the cradle, and carried 
him up to the top of the tiles, and there sat with 
him upon the ridge; the parents beholding this 
ruthful spectacle, gave the ape fair and smooth 
language, so he gently brought the child down 
again and replaced him in the cradle. Our country 
is in the same case this child was in, and I hope 
there will be sweet and gentle means used to pre- 
serve it from precipitation. 
The city of London sticks constantly to the 



OF JAMES HOWELL 265 

Parliament, and the common council sways much, 
insomuch that I believe if the Lord Chancellor 
Egerton were now living he would not be so pleas- 
ant with them, as he was once to a new Recorder 
of London whom he had invited to dinner to give 
him joy of his office, and having a great woodcock 
pie served in about the end of the repast which 
had been sent him from Cheshire, he said, " Now, 
Master Recorder, you are welcome to a common 
council." 

There may be many discreet brave patriots in 
the city, and I hope they will think upon some 
means to preserve us and themselves from ruin. 
Such are the prayers, early and late, of your Lord- 
ship's most humble servitor, J. H. 

Fleet, 2 January 1643. 

LI 

To Sir Alex. R., Knight 

SURELY, God Almighty is angry with Eng- 
land, and it is more sure, that God is never 
angry without cause. Now, to know this cause, 
the best way is, for every one to lay his hand on 
his breast, and examine himself thoroughly, to 
summon his thoughts and winnow them, and so 
call to remembrance how far he hath offended 
Heaven, and then it will be found that God is 
not angry with England, but with Englishmen. 
When that doleful charge was pronounced against 



q.66 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Israel, "Perditio tua ex te, Israel," it was meant 
of the concrete (not the abstract), "Oh Israelites, 
your ruin comes from yourselves." When I 
make this scrutiny within myself, and enter into 
the closest cabinet of my soul, I find (God help 
me!) that I have contributed as much to the 
drawing down of these judgments on England as 
any other. When I ransack the three cells of my 
brain, I find that my imagination hath been vain 
and extravagant. My memory hath kept the bad, 
and let go the good, like a wide sieve that retains 
the bran and parts with the flour. My under- 
standing hath been full of error and obliquities ; 
my will hath been a rebel to reason ; my reason 
a rebel to faith, which, I thank God, I have the 
grace to quell presently with this caution, 

Succumbat Ratio Fidei, et captiva quiescat. 

When I descend to my heart, the centre of all 
my affections, I find it hath swelled often with 
tympanies of vanity and tumours of wrath ; when 
I take my whole self in a lump, I find that I am 
nought else but a cargazon of malignant humours, 
a rabble of unruly passions, amongst which my 
poor soul is daily crucified, as betwixt so many 
thieves. Therefore, as I pray in general, that God 
would please not to punish this island for the sins 
of the people, so more particularly I pray, that 
she suffer not for me in particular ; who, if one 
would go by way of induction, would make one 
of the chiefest instances of the argument. And as 



OF JAMES HOWELL 267 

I am thus conscious to myself of my own demer- 
its, so I hold it to be the duty of every one to 
complete himself this way, and to remember the 
saying of a noble English captain, who, when the 
town of Calais was lost (which was the last foot- 
ing we had in France), being jeered by a French- 
man, and asked, "Now, Englishman, when will 
you come back to France? " answered, " Oh, sir, 
mock not ; when the sins of France are greater 
than the sins of England, the Englishmen will 
come again to France." 

Before the sack of Troy, it was said and sung 
up and down the streets — 

Iliacos intra muros peccatur et extra. 

The verse is as true for sense and feet, — 

Intra Londini muros peccatur et extra. 

(Without and eke within 

The walls of London there is sin. ) 

The way to better the times is for every one to 
mend one. I will conclude with this serious invo- 
cation. I pray God avert those further judgments 
of famine and pestilence which are hovering over 
this populous and once flourishing city, and dis- 
pose of the brains and hearts of this people to 
seek and serve Him aright. 

I thank you for your last visit, and for the 
poem you sent me since. So I am your most 
faithful servitor, J. H. 

Fleet, 3 June. 



268 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

LII 

To Mr John Batty, Merchant 

1 RECEIVED the printed discourse you pleased 
to send me, called the " Merchant's Remon- 
strance," for which I return you due and deserved 
thanks. 

Truly, sir, it is one of the most material and 
solid pieces I have read of this kind, and I dis- 
cover therein two things : first, the affection you 
bear to your country, with the resentment you 
have of these woeful distractions, then the judg- 
ment and choice experience you have purchased 
by your negotiations in Spain and Germany. In 
you may be verified the tenet they hold in Italy 
that the merchant bred abroad is the best com- 
monwealth's man, being properly applied. For 
my part, I do not know any profession of life 
(especially in an island) more to be cherished and 
countenanced with honourable employments than 
the merchant-adventurer (I do not mean only the 
staplers of Hamburg and Rotterdam), for if valiant 
and dangerous actions do ennoble a man, and 
make him merit, surely the merchant-adventurer 
deserves more honour than any, for he is to 
encounter not only with men of all tempers and 
humours (as a French councillor hath it), but he 
contests and tugs ofttimes with all the elements. 
Nor do I see how some of our country squires, 



OF JAMES HOWELL 269 

who sell calves and runts, and their wives perhaps 
cheese and apples, should be held more gentle 
than the noble merchant-adventurer, who sells 
silks and satins, tissues and cloth of gold, dia- 
monds and pearl, with silver and gold. 

In your discourse you foretell the sudden 
calamities which are like to befall this poor island 
if trade decay, and that this decay is inevitable if 
these commotions last. Herein you are proved 
half a prophet already, and I fear your prophecy 
will be fully accomplished if matters hold thus. 
Good Lord ! Was there ever people so active to 
draw on their own ruin, which is so visible that 
a purblind man may take a prospect of it ? We 
all see this, apparently, and hear it told us every 
minute, but we are fallen to the condition of that 
foolish people the prophet speaks of, who had 
eyes but would not see, and ears but would not 
hear. All men know there is nothing imports this 
island more than trade ; it is that wheel of in- 
dustry which sets all other a-going; it is that which 
preserves the chiefest castles and walls of this 
kingdom : I mean the ships. And how these are 
impaired within these four years, I believe other 
nations (which owe us an invasion) observe and 
know better than we ; for truly, I believe a million 
(I mean of crowns), and I speak within compass, 
will not put the Navy Royal in that strength as 
it was four years since, besides the decay of mer- 
chant ships. A little before Athens was o'ercome, 
the Oracle told one of the Areopagitae that Athens 



2 7 o FAMILIAR LETTERS 

had seen her best days, for her wooden walls (mean- 
ing her ships) were decayed. As I told you before, 
there is a nation or two that owe us an inva- 
sion. 

No more now, but that with my most kind and 
friendly respects unto you, I rest, always yours to 
dispose of, J. H. 

Fleet, 4 May 1644. 

LIII 

T0 my Honoured Friend, Mr E. P. 

THE times are so ticklish that I dare not 
adventure to send you any London intelli- 
gence, she being now a garrison town, and you 
know as well as I what danger I may incur. But 
for foreign indifferent news you shall understand 
that Pope Urban the Eighth is dead, having sat 
in the chair above twenty years, a rare thing, for 
it is observed that no Pope yet arrived to the years 
of St Peter, who, they say, was Bishop of Rome 
twenty-and-five. Cardinal Pamfilio, a Roman born, 
a knowing man, and a great lawyer, is created 
Pope by assumption of the name of Innocent the 
Tenth. There was tough canvassing for voices, 
and a great contrasto in the Conclave betwixt the 
Spanish and French factions, who, with the Bar- 
berino, stood for Sachetti, but he was excluded, 
as also another Dominican. By these exclusions 
the Spanish party, whereof the Cardinal of Flor- 



OF JAMES HOWELL 271 

ence was chief, brought about Barberino to join 
with them for Pamfilio, as being also a creature of 
the deceased pope. He had been nuncio in Spain 
eight years, so that it is conceived he is much 
devoted to that crown, as his predecessor was to 
the French, who had been legate there near upon 
twenty years, and was god-father to the last king, 
which made him to be fleur-de-lys, to be flower- 
de-luced all over. This new Pope hath already 
passed that number of years which the prophet 
assigns to man, for he goes upon seventy-one, and 
is of a strong promising constitution to live some 
years longer. He hath but one nephew, who is 
but eighteen, and so not capable of business. He 
hath therefore made choice of some cardinals more 
to be his coadjutors. Pancirellio is his prime con- 
fidant, and lodged in St Peter's. It is thought he 
will presently set all wheels a-going to mediate a 
universal peace. They write of one good augury 
amongst the rest, that part of his arms is a dove^ 
which hath been always held for an emblem of 
peace ; but I believe it will prove one of the knot- 
tiest and difficultest tasks that ever was attempted, 
as the case stands betwixt the house of Austria and 
France, and the toughest and hardest knot I hold 
to be that of Portugal, for it cannot yet enter into 
any man's imagination how that may be accommo- 
dated, though many politicians have beaten their 
brains about it. God Almighty grant that the 
appeasing of our civil wars prove not so intricate 
a work, and that we may at last take warning by 



272 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

the devastations of other countries before our own 
be past cure. 

They write from Paris that Sir Kenelm Digby 
is to be employed to Rome from Her Majesty in 
quality of a high messenger of honour to congrat- 
ulate the new Pope, not of ambassador, as the 
vulgar give out, for none can give that character 
to any but a sovereign independent Prince, and 
all the world knows that Her Majesty is under 
Couvert Baron, notwithstanding that some cry her 
up for Queen Regent of England as her sister is 
of France. The Lord Aubigny hath an abbacy of 
one thousand five hundred pistoles a year given 
him yearly there, and is fair for a cardinal's hat. 

1 continue still under this heavy pressure of 
close restraint, nor do I see any hopes (God help 
me !) of getting forth till the wind shift out of this 
unlucky hole. Howsoever I am resolved that if 
innocence cannot free my body, yet patience shall 
preserve my mind still in its freeborn thoughts. 
Nor shall this storm slacken a whit that firm league 
of love wherein I am eternally tied unto you. I 
will conclude with a distich which I found amongst 
those excellent poems of the late Pope — 

Quern valide strinxit praestanti pollice virtus, 
Nescius est solvi nodus Amicitiae. 

Your constant servitor, J. H. 

Fleet, i January 1644. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 273 



LIV 

To the L. Bishop of London, late Lord Treas- 
urer of TLngland 

My Lord, 

YOU are one of the miracles of these times, the 
greatest mirror of moderation our age affords. 
And as heretofore, when you carried the white 
staff with such clean uncorrupted hands, yet the 
crosier was still your chief care, nor was it per- 
ceived that that high all-obliging office did alter 
you a jot, or alienate you from yourself, but the 
same candour and countenance of meekness ap- 
peared still in you, as whosoever had occasion to 
make their address to your gates went away con- 
tented whether they sped in their business or not 
(a gift your predecessor was said to want) ; so 
since the turbulency of these times the same mod- 
eration shines in you, notwithstanding that the 
mitre is so trampled upon, and that there be such 
violent factions a-foot, insomuch that you live not 
only secure from outrages, but honoured by all 
parties. It is true one thing fell out to your ad- 
vantage, that you did not subscribe to that petition 
which proved so fatal to prelacy. But the chief 
ground of the constant esteem the distracted world 
hath still of you is your wisdom and moderation 
past and present. This put me in mind of one 
of your predecessors (in your late office), Marquis 



274 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

Pawlet,who it seems sailed by the same compass; 
for there being divers bandings, and factions at 
Court in his time, yet was he beloved by all par- 
ties, and being asked how he stood so right in the 
opinion of all, he answered, " By being a willow, 
and not an oak." 

I have many thanks to give your lordship for 
the late visits I had, and when this cloud is scat- 
tered, that I may respire free air, one of my first 
journeys shall be to kiss your lordship's hands. 
In the interim, I rest your most devoted and ready 
servitor, J. H. 

The Fleet, 3 September 1644. 

LV 

To Sir E. 8., Knight 

THOUGH I never had the least umbrage of 
your love, or doubted of the reality there- 
of, yet since I fell into this plunge it hath been 
much confirmed unto me. It is a true observation, 
that amongst other effects of affliction, one is to 
try a friend, for those proofs that are made in the 
fawnings, and dazzling sunshine of prosperity, are 
not so clear as those which break out and trans- 
pire through the dark clouds of adversity. You 
know the difference the philosophers make be- 
twixt the two extreme colours black and white, 
that the one is congregativum, the other disgregati- 
vum visus. Black doth congregate, unite and for- 



OF JAMES HOWELL 275 

tify the sight ; the other doth disgregate, scatter, 
and enfeeble it when it fixeth upon any object. 
So, through the sable clouds of adverse fortune, 
one may make a truer inspection into the breast 
of a friend. Besides this, affliction produceth an- 
other far more excellent effect, it brings us to a 
better and a more clear knowledge of our Creator ; 
for as the rising and setting sun appears bigger 
unto us than when he is in the meridian (though 
the distance be still the same), the cause whereof 
is ascribed to the interposition of mists, which lie 
betwixt our eyes and him, so through the thick fog 
of adversity (which in this point is as pellucid and 
diaphanous as any crystal) we come to see God 
and the immensity of His love in a fuller pro- 
portion. There cannot be clearer evidences of 
His care than His corrections. When he makes 
the world to frown, then He smiles most upon us, 
though it be through a mask ; besides, it is always 
His method to stroke them whom He strikes. 
We have an ordinary salute in English, God bless 
you ! and though the verb be radically derived 
from the Dutch word, yet it would bear good 
sense, and be very pertinent to this purpose if we 
would fetch it from the French word blesser, which 
is to hurt. This speculation raiseth my spirits to 
a great height of comfort and patience that not- 
withstanding they have been a long time weighed 
down and quashed, yet I shall at last overcome all 
these pressures, survive my debts, and surmount 
my enemies. 



276 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

God pardon them and preserve you, and take 
it not ill, that in this my conclusion, I place you 
so near my enemies. Whatsoever fortune light on 
me, come fair or foul weather, I shall be still your 
constant servitor, J. H. 

Fleet, 5 August 1644.. 

LVI 
To Tho. Ham, Esquire 

THERE is no such treasure as a true friend, 
it is a treasure far above that of Saint Mark's 
in Venice ; a treasure that is not liable to those 
casualties which others are liable unto, as to plun- 
dering and burglary, to bankrupts and ill debtors, 
to firing and shipwrecks ; for when one hath lost 
his fortunes by any of these disasters, he may re- 
cover them all in a true friend, who is always a sure 
and staple commodity. This is verified in you 
who have stuck so close unto me in these my 
pressures. Like a glow-worm (the old emblem of 
true friendship) you have shined unto me in the 
dark. Nor could you do good offices to any that 
wisheth you better ; for I always loved you for the 
freedom of your genius, for those choice parts and 
fancies I found in you, which I confess hath made 
me more covetous of your friendship than I used 
to be of others. And to deal clearly with you, one 
of my prime errands to this town (when this 
disaster fell upon me) was to see you. 



OF JAMES HOWELL 277 

God put a speedy period to these sad distem- 
pers, but this wish as I was writing it did vanish 
in the impossibility of the thing, for I fear they 
are of a long continuance. — So I pray God keep 
you, and comfort me, who am your true friend to 
serve you, J. H. 

The Fleet, May 5, 1643. 

LVII 

To Phil. Warwick, Esquire 

THE earth does not always produce roses and 
lilies, but she brings forth also nettles and 
thistles. So the world affords us not always con- 
tentments and pleasure but sometimes afflictions 
and trouble ; Ut ilia tribulos, sic iste tribulationes 
producit. The sea is not more subject to contrary 
blasts, nor the surges thereof to tossings and tum- 
blings, than the actions of men are to encumbrances 
and crosses. The air is not fuller of meteors than 
man's life is of miseries ; but as we find that it is 
not a clear sky but the clouds that drop fatness, 
as the Holy Text tells us, so adversity is far more 
fertile than prosperity, it useth to water and mol- 
lify the heart, which is the centre of all our affec- 
tions, and makes it produce excellent fruit, whereas 
the glaring sunshine of a continual prosperity 
would enharden and dry it up, and so make it 
barren. 

There is not a greater evidence of God's care 



a 7 8 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

and love to his creatures than affliction; for as a 
French author doth illustrate it by a familiar ex- 
ample : If two boys should be seen to fight in the 
streets and a ring of people about them, one of 
the standers by parting them, lets the one go un- 
touched but he falls correcting the other, whereby 
the beholders will infer that he is his child, or at 
least one whom he wisheth well unto. So the 
strokes of adversity which fall upon us from heaven 
show that God is our Father as well as our Creator. 
This makes this bitter cup of affliction become 
nectar, and the bread of carefulness I now eat to 
be true ambrosia unto me. This makes me esteem 
these walls wherein I have been immured these 
thirty months, to be no other than a college of 
instruction unto me ; and whereas Varro said that 
this great world was but the house of little man, 
I hold this Fleet to be one of the best lodgings 
in that house. 

There is a people in Spain called Los Pattuecos 
who some threescore and odd years since were 
discovered by the flight of a hawk of the Duke of 
Alva's ; this people, then all savage (though they 
dwelt in the centre of Spain, not far from Toledo, 
and are yet held to be part of those aborigines 
that Tubal Cain brought in), being hemmed in and 
imprisoned, as it were, by a multitude of craggy 
huge mountains, thought that behind those moun- 
tains there was no more earth. I have been so 
habituate to this prison and accustomed to the 
walls thereof so long that I might well be brought 



OF JAMES HOWELL 279 

to think that there is no other world behind them. 
And in my extravagant imaginations, I often com- 
pare this Fleet to Noah's Ark surrounded with a 
vast sea and huge deluge of calamities which hath 
overwhelmed this poor island. Nor, although I 
have been so long aboard here, was I yet under 
hatches, for I have a cabin upon the upper deck, 
whence I breathe the best air the place affords ; 
add hereunto that the society of Master Hopkins 
the warden is an advantage to me, who is one of 
the knowingest and most civil gentlemen that I 
have conversed withal. Moreover, there are here 
some choice gentlemen who are my co-martyrs; for 
a prisoner and a martyr are the same thing, save 
that the one is buried before his death and the 
other after. 

God Almighty amend these times that make 
imprisonment to be preferred before liberty, it 
being more safe and desirable by some, though 
not by your affectionate servitor, J. H. 

From the Fleet, November 3, 1645. 

LVIII 

To Sir Ed. Sa., Knight 

WERE there a physician that could cure the 
maladies of the mind, as well as those of 
the body, he needed not to wish the Lord Mayor 
or the Pope for his uncle, for he should have 
patients without number. It is true that there be 



280 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

some distempers of the mind that proceed from 
those of the body, and so are curable by drugs and 
diets ; but there are others that are quite abstracted 
from all corporeal impressions, and are merely 
mental ; these kind of agonies are the more vio- 
lent of the two, for as the one use to drive us into 
fevers, the other precipitate us oftentimes into fren- 
zies. And this is the ground I believe which made 
the philosopher think that the rational soul was 
infused into man, partly for his punishment, and 
the understanding for his executioner, unless wis- 
dom sit at the helm, and steer the motions of his 
will. 

I thank God I have felt both (for I am not 
made of stone or steel), having had since I was 
shut in here a shrewd fit of the new disease ; and 
for the other, you must needs think that thirty-one 
months' close restraint, and the barbarousness of 
the times, must discompose and torture the imag- 
ination, sometimes with gripings of discontent and 
anguish, not so much for my own sad condition 
as for my poor country and friends, who have a 
great share in my nativity, and particularly for 
yourself, whose gallant worth I highly honour, and 
who have not been the least sufferer. 

The moralist tells us that a quadrat solid wise 
man should involve and tackle himself within his 
own virtue, and slight all accidents that are inci- 
dent to man, and be still the same, cc etiam si frac- 
tus illabatur orbis ; " there may be so much virtue 
and valour in you, but I profess to have neither 



OF JAMES HOWELL 281 

of them in that proportion. The philosophers pre- 
scribe us rules, that they themselves nor any flesh 
and blood can observe ; 1 am no statue, but I 
must resent the calamities of the time, and the des- 
perate case of this nation, who seem to have fallen 
quite from the very faculty of reason, and to be 
possessed with a pure lycanthropy, with a wolfish 
kind of disposition to tear one another in this 
manner, insomuch that if ever the old saying was 
verified, " Homo homini lupus," it is certainly 
now. I will conclude with this distich — 

They err who write no wolves in England range, 
Here men are all turned wolves, O monstrous change. 

No more, but that I wish you patience, which 
is a flower that grows not in every garden. Your 
faithful servitor, J. H. 

From the Fleet, December 1, 1644. 

LIX 

To my noble Friend, Mr E. P. 

I HAVE no other news to write to you hence, 
but that" Leuantanse los muladeres,y abaxanse 
los adarues," the world is turned topsy-turvy. 
Yours, J. H. 

From the Fleet, January 2, 1644. 



282 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

LX 

To Tho. Young, Esq. 

I RECEIVED yours of the fifth of March, and 
it was as welcome to me as flowers in May, 
which are now coming on apace. You seem to 
marvel I do not marry all this while, considering 
that I am past the meridian of my age, and that to 
your knowledge there have been overtures made 
me of parties above my degree. Truly in this point 
I will deal with you as one should do with his con- 
fessor. Had I been disposed to have married for 
wealth without affection or for affection without 
wealth, I had been in bonds before now ; but I did 
never cast my eyes upon any yet that I thought I 
was born for, where both these concurred. It is the 
custom of some (and it is a common custom) to 
choose wives by the weight, that is, by their wealth. 
Others fall in love with light wives, I do not mean 
venerean lightness, but in reference to portion. 
The late Earl of Salisbury gives a caveat for this, 
" that beauty without a dowry (without that unguen- 
tum indicum) is as a gilded shell without a kernel; " 
therefore he warns his son to be sure to have some- 
thing with his wife, and his reason is, " because 
nothing can be bought in the market without 
money." Indeed it is very fitting that be or sbe 
should have wherewith to support both, according 
to their quality, at least to keep the wolf from the 



OF JAMES HOWELL 283 

door, otherwise it were a mere madness to marry ; 
but he who hath enough of his own to maintain 
a wife, and marrieth only for money, discovereth 
a poor sordid disposition. There is nothing that 
my nature disdains more than to be a slave to 
silver or gold, for though they both carry the 
King's face, yet they shall never reign over me, 
and I would I were free from all other infirmities 
as I am from this. I am none of those mammon- 
ists who adore white and red earth, and make their 
prince's picture their idol that way : such may 
be said to be under a perpetual eclipse, for the 
earth stands always betwixt them and the fair 
face of heaven. Yet my genius prompts me that 
I was born under a planet not to die in a lazaretto. 
At my nativity my ascendant was that hot con- 
stellation of Cancer about the midst of the dog- 
days, as my ephemerides tells me ; Mars was 
then predominant. Of all the elements fire sways 
most in me. I have many aspirings, and airy odd 
thoughts swell often in me, according to the qual- 
ity of the ground whereon I was born, which was 
the belly of a huge hill situated southeast, so that 
the house I came from (besides my father's and 
mother's coat) must needs be illustrious, being more 
obvious to the sunbeams than ordinary. I have 
upon occasion of a sudden distemper, sometimes 
a madman, sometimes a fool, sometimes a melan- 
choly odd fellow to deal withal : I mean myself, for 
I have the humours within me that belong to all 
three; therefore who would cast herself away upon 



284 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

such a one ? Besides, I came tumbling out into 
the world a pure cadet, a true cosmopolite, not 
born to land, lease, house or office. It is true 
I have purchased since a small spot of ground 
upon Parnassus which I hold in fee of the Muses, 
and I have endeavoured to manure it as well 
as I could, though I confess it hath yielded me 
little fruit hitherto. And what woman would be 
so mad as to take that only for her jointure? 

But to come to the point of wiving, I would 
have you know that I have, though never mar- 
ried, divers children already, some French, some 
Latin, one Italian, and many English ; and 
though they be but poor brats of the brain, yet 
are they legitimate, and Apollo himself vouch- 
safed to co-operate in their production. I have 
exposed them to the wide world to try their for- 
tunes ; and some out of compliment would make 
me believe they are long-lived. 

But to come at last to your kind of wiving, 
I acknowledge that marriage is an honourable 
condition, nor dare I think otherwise without 
profaneness, for it is the epithet the holy text 
gives it. Therefore it was a wild speech of the 
philosopher to say that " if our conversation 
could be without women angels would come 
down and dwell amongst us." And a wilder speech 
it was of the cynic, when, passing by a tree 
where a maid had made herself away, wished 
"that all trees might bear such fruit." But to 
pass from these moth-eaten philosophers to a 



OF JAMES HOWELL 285 

modern physician of our own, it was a most un- 
manly thing in him, while he displays his own re- 
ligion to wish that there were a way to propagate 
the world otherwise than by conjunction with 
women (and Paracelsus undertakes to show him 
the way), whereby he seems to repine (though 
I understand he was wived a little after) at the 
honourable degree of marriage, which I hold to 
be the prime link of human society, the chiefest 
happiness of mortals, and wherein heaven hath 
a special hand. 

But I wonder why you write to me of wiving, 
when you know I have much ado to man or 
maintain myself, as I told you before ; yet not- 
withstanding that the better part of my days are 
already threaded upon the string of time, I will 
not despair but I may have a wife at last that 
may perhaps enable me to build hospitals. For 
although nine long lustres of years have now 
passed over my head, and some winters more (for 
all my life, considering the few sunshines I have 
had, may be called nothing but winters), yet, 
I thank God for it, I find no symptom of decay, 
either in body, senses or intellectuals. But writ- 
ing thus extravagantly, methinks I hear you say 
that this letter shows I begin to dote and grow 
idle, therefore I will display myself no further 
unto you at this time. 

To tell you the naked truth, my dear Tom, 
the highest pitch of my aim is, that by some con- 
dition or other, I may be enabled at last (though 



286 FAMILIAR LETTERS 

I be put to sow the time that others use to reap) 
to quit scores with the world, but never to cancel 
that precious obligation wherein I am indissolubly 
bound to live and die your true constant friend, 

J.H. 
From the Fleet, 28 of April 1645. 



END OF VOLUME II 



CAMBRIDGE . MASSACHUSETTS 
U . S • A